Geezer Up (Part 13)

 

Every part of me trembled from a fear so overpowering that my teeth chattered aloud. All I could think about was Kyle’s death grip on my neck and how the next time, he would finish the task. I didn’t know what else to do so I climbed into the top bunk and curled up in a ball, resigning myself to the fate soon awaiting me in Cell 27 at County Jail #4.

My exhaustion and fears struggled with each other for a few minutes, before exhaustion won out. I fell into a deep sleep.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his memoir, Stride Toward Freedom, about his receiving forty or more death threats per day during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956. One particular phone call late at night pushed him over the edge. He walked into the kitchen, made a pot of coffee, and sat down in a chair at the kitchen table. He tried to think of a way to quit his leadership position without appearing to be a coward. Finally, he prayed and asked God to help him because he was too afraid to continue. The presence of the Lord cloaked King, assuring him that He would always be with him in the days ahead and forever. King never again doubted or feared for his life again.

What the Lord did for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the kitchen table, he did for me in that top bunk.

Was it a dream? Was it a vision? Or did I really ascend into the second heaven? I don’t know for sure, but you can judge it for yourself.

In my sleep, I heard my voice echoing the earlier prayer: “Lord, thanks for giving a seventy-three year old geezer, like me, a second chance to be a part of the action and not allowing me to retire from Your kingdom work. And Lord, use me even more in the days ahead.”

My words came out of an intense darkness without shadows. Yet, peace, love, and joy filled the same darkness. A spotlight then came on, shining on Reverend Morgan Churchill, the most godly man I had ever met and father of one of our closest friends, Faye Strawmeier. He was the founding pastor of Jedidiah Smith Community Church, which Jane and I attended for thirty years.

“Dylan, give me your hand,” said Reverend Churchill.

I sat up and offered my right hand to him. He grabbed it and we took off, up through the ceiling of Cell 27, through the roof of the Hall of Justice Building, and up into the heavenly realms. Even though I figured we were traveling at the speed of light, my eyes had no problem adjusting to the speed. I could focus on images as we zoomed past them.

We stopped thousands of miles above San Francisco.

“Today, you are going to begin learning about your enemy and how to battle him in the days ahead,” Reverend Churchill. “Pay close attention to what you see, okay?”

I nodded my head, but my mouth itched to blurt out questions.

Reverend Churchill had been an easy-going leader with an infectious sense of humor when he pastored. His blue eyes always looked ready to smile and enjoy a good time with people around him. But on this day, his manner mirrored the solemnity of the occasion, as did his dark suit, starched white shirt, and red-stripped tie. His chronic back problems seemed no longer an issue for him because he stood tall and erect before me.

“Look over there,” he pointed toward a radiant being sitting on what appeared to be a golden throne covered with jewels located in the realm next to us. “What do you see?”

“It looks like a god. I almost feel like worshipping it.”

“What you’re viewing with your eyes is the ruling principality over San Francisco −”

“But he’s beautiful!”

“The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, ‘For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.’ That is the spirit of depravity and how you’re seeing it right now is how most San Franciscans − believers and unbelievers alike − view this principality, as something good, and not evil.”

Reverend Churchill reached over with his right hand and covered my eyes. He then removed his hand.

“Now look again at the creature now that your spiritual eyes are opened up two levels.”

The being changed in one nano-second into a grotesque creature, much like a King Kong-sized gargoyle. His body parts appeared to be a surreal mixture of wolf, reptile, and goat parts with a stubby tail, talons for feet, scale-covered wings, paw-like hands, and misshapen goat-like face with two outlandish ram’s horns covering his wolf-shaped ears. His open mouth was filled with hideous teeth. There was nothing beautiful about him at all.

On closer inspection, the principlity’s throne was not made of gold, but rather out of worthless pyritic minerals or fool’s gold. The jewels decorating the throne were nothing more than worthless colored glass.

“In the days ahead, you will expose the spirit of depravity to the people of San Francsisco,” said Reverend Churchill.

“How?”

“By revealing God’s goodness to the city because it is through His goodness that people’s eyes will be opened to repentance.”

Before I could say another word, he held up his hand in a stop sign manner.

“Your first teaching on spiritual warfare is over for today, but from now on, you will walk in His peace. Nothing will faze or upset you in the days ahead because His presence within your heart will be a roaring fire, burning all doubts and fears that may confront you.”

Seconds later, I returned to my bunk a changed man.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 14…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for America (2/23/2017)

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Paul never glamorized the gospel! It is not success, but sacrifice! It’s not a glamour gospel, but a bloody gospel, a gory gospel, and a sacrificial gospel! 5 minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more! Wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more! (Leonard Ravenhill)

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, trusting that it truly is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. (Based on Romans 1:16)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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Mountains Melt at the Presence of God (Part 1)

I was upset with God on that winter day in 1995. Things were not panning out quite the way I expected them to happen, not even close. I was thousands of dollars in debt, my friends had for the most part deserted me, and the woman who I thought would marry me didn’t even want to see me.

I sat by myself in that small upstairs apartment, near Iowa State University, reading a biography on John Lake’s life. As I turned the pages of the book, I decided to tell God exactly how I felt at that moment.

Standing up, I pointed my finger toward heaven. “Lord, I’m fed up with the way You’re running my life,” I said with foolish boldness. “In fact, I’m sick of it. If You’re the Creator of the Universe, why can’t You get me out of my problems in one day? Don’t You have enough power to do it by tomorrow? Or is Your arm too short? ”

I sat back down, quite satisfied with how I let God know my real feelings, and picked up the book again.

Much like it says in Acts 2:2 — And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind — God came into the room. His presence filled every part of the room with His holiness.

I dropped the book, fell to my knees on the floor, and wept. “O Lord, don’t kill me. Don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me,” I muttered over and over again.

You see, I knew I couldn’t live in that level of holiness for very long because of the sin in my life.

Then, the Lord spoke to my heart. “If I wanted to, I could deliver you out of your problems by tomorrow.”

“Yes, Lord, I believe that You could do that. Just don’t kill me.”

His heavy presence lifted off the room and eventually I stood up a changed man, much smaller in my own eyes than before that time.

This was an extreme example of God’s presence in my life, but interesting enough, it was God’s presence which came upon me as a young believer that drew me to love Him and desire to be with Him. And to be honest, if there is one thing that I hope I could somehow teach every believer: it would be to seek His presence.

The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. (Psalm 97:5)

(Continued in Part 2)

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Prayers for Healing and Deliverance (2/21/2017)

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If we go to a doctor and learn we have a terminal illness, what would we do next? Call City of Hope? Call Mayo Clinic? Book a flight to a Benny Hinn Crusade? Drive to the closest healing room? Call for a prayer meeting? What?

No one wants to consider these questions, but the odds are that many of us will face such situations during our lifetimes. Shouldn’t we at least prepare ourselves ahead of time?

Just so you know: I’m not against doctors, nurses, and hospitals. I’m not against Benny Hinn nor am I against the healing room ministries nor am I against prayer meetings.

In those days, King Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'” (2 Kings 20:2)

King Hezekiah was thirty-nine years old at the time, had been king of Judah for fourteen years, and according to scripture “had done what was right in the sight of the Lord.” So, what did Hezekiah do after he heard the bad news?

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (2 Kings 20:3)

Hezekiah turned away from Isaiah and the other people in his room at the time and sought the Lord. He knew he had standing before the Lord because to the best of his ability he had walked in faithfulness to Him.

The result: the Lord added fifteen years to King Hezekiah’s life.

My prayer today:

O Lord, help us American believers to trust in You with all of our hearts, to not trust in our own understanding, to acknowledge You in all of our journeys, to not be wise in our own eyes, to fear You, and depart from evil so that we will have healing for our bodies and strength for our bones. (Based on Proverbs 3:5-8)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for new revelations on healing and deliverance for Americans NOW.

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Geezer Up (Part 12)

 

One moment, I felt ten feet tall, full of faith, defying the judge, announcing my fast, and the next moment, which happened as soon as I stepped out of the courtroom, I was weak old Dylan again. A seventy-three year old, bald, fifteen pounds over weight geezer who needed afternoon naps to stay awake until 9:30 at night. Not only that, I craved blueberry pie, ice cream, chocolate covered peanuts, pizza, and would have robbed a bank to get them if I had a gun or a knife. What’s my problem, I thought.

The young guard marched me up to the seventh floor to County Jail #4, a maximum-security facility for murderers, rapists, drug dealers, gang leaders, and now, a geezer with a big mouth.

After signing in, I went to a room where a soft-spoken guard ordered me to strip off my clothing so he could thoroughly search me. He then handed me my orange county jail outfit, white t-shirt, white underwear, white socks, pair of black slide sandals, and a bag containing toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, and a locker key.

I finally arrived at my cell just before lunchtime. My cellmate sat at the small built-in desk, reading a thick book and taking notes on a legal pad. He looked up and shook his head.

“I was hoping for a cute young guy, but instead, I get an old, worn-out coot like you. What are the odds?” he said with a smile. Then, he stood up and offered his hand. “My name is Kyle Bogart. I’m the gay terminator on this wing.”

Even though he wore an orange uniform like mine, Kyle looked like he had stepped out of GQ Magazine with his stylish cut blond hair, blue eyes, chiseled good looks, and muscular six-foot frame.

I shook his firm hand. “My name’s Dylan Matthews. I’m a retired cute guy.”

Kyle laughed. “Okay, that’s funny, but because seniority has its benefits in here, you get the top bunk, and the little locker on the right.”

“That works for me.”

I pointed at his thick book. “What are you studying?”

“Law.”

“That sounds boring to me.”

“Yeah, it is, but I’m accused of murder and thought it would be a good idea to understand what the lawyers are talking about.”

“Murder? You look like a successful businessman.”

“Good guess! I am a part owner of a successful restaurant, but my partner was recently bludgeoned to death.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“Well, things happen. Plus, he was my husband and cheated on me. By the way, what are you in here for? Robbing a bank or something exciting like that?”

It’s funny how at that moment I remembered his words “gay terminator” and how he didn’t elaborate on that title. My imagination kicked into gear with all kinds of hypothetical possibilities.

I blew out a deep breath and plunged into the deep end. “I spoke a short message to some men watching the parade down in the Castro District. All I said was, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.’ My words caused a small riot and ended up with me being arrested for a hate crime.”

His facial expression changed from normal to deranged in a San Francisco second. His blue eyes glazed over and the vein on the side his neck popped out, looking like it was ready to explode. He hurdled the distance between us and grabbed my neck with his huge hands and began choking me. I tried to protect myself, but he was too strong. His hate-filled eyes slashed my heart as I stared into them. I figured his face would be the last one I’d see before meeting Jesus in heaven.

The lunch chime sounded.

He released his chokehold on me, much like the dogs had responded to ringing bells in Pavlov’s experiments. He looked at me and then down at his hands, flexing both of them.

“My mom preached this crap to me until I finally left home. So, don’t ever mention Jesus or God to me again because I don’t know if I can contain myself from ripping you apart!” he proclaimed. Then, he lowered his voice. “Let’s go eat lunch now, okay?”

I struggled for breath and shook my head. “No! Go ahead without me. I’m going to rest a little bit.”

“Suit yourself, but today’s lunch is pastrami on rye with lentil soup. It’s really good.”

And just like that, the gay terminator left.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 13…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Inside Israel

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The Shuk in Jerusalem

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

Greetings dear brothers and sisters,

May The Lord, The One True God, The Creator of heaven and earth, and His only begotten Son, Messiah Yeshua, Jesus Christ Who IS God, be blessed and glorified and may you be edified and blessed in Him by the power of His Holy Spirit.

God surely answers prayer and glorifies His Name. He will not be mocked and it never grows old, seeing His Hand move in such evident, direct answers to prayer.

I am able to write now because I CAN’T be at the IFI prayer conference except for the mornings that I don’t work, and I am LONGING to write because I was BLESSED to be able to attend yesterday morning. The morning sessions at the conference are WORK and my favorite part. They are given to active, directed prayer. Once again, hats off to you British prayer warriors. Not only did you see your answers in the Brexit move, but to the surprise of the participants in the peace gathering at Paris France, Britain boldly stood up and refused to sign the statement presented to the 72 nations participating.  Wow!  The Balkan states followed her lead.  It was dramatic, unexpected, but prayed for. There is no doubt that God is on the move amongst the nations.

Midmorning yesterday we heard a fine-tuned and impassioned plea for prayer concerning E.U. elections that were to take place throughout the day with a clear explanation of the background.  The plea was to pray for the fear of the Lord to stop governments from standing against Israel and thus being cursed.  “Fine-tuned” and “sharpened” would be how I would describe the calls.  I was honored to be there and to pray among polished prayers.  I wish I could attend all week.

After a fashion, YOU CAN BE. Just go to “Intercessors for Israel,” which can be checked out here. May you be blessed.

At the same time, while God works at this conference, He is also at work in the streets around us. Before Britain’s bold move to remove the sting of the Paris talks, our streets were quite tense with anticipation. The same chord was sounded wherever I listened. As I waited for the train at the shuk, an older lady had her packages strewn across the bench while she slowly brushed her hair out and wrapped it into a thick, neat roll piled atop her head. Another older woman wanted to sit and motioned her to move her packages, which she did. Still brushing, she shook her head, “With all that is going on in Syria, in Iraq, with the Kurds, with the Turks, with the Sudanese…all the 72 nations can think about condemning is us!”

The two nodded their heads in unison. Mine nodded, too.  “What will happen now?” the second woman asked. ‘

“Oh, we will keep on going but it will be harder. America’s new President…what’s his name?  Trumpet?  He seems to like us, but will it last?” she replied.

They shook their heads again. That was the body language seen all over, the shaking of heads. “How can it be that there is this much hatred toward us and that no one seems to understand what is happening? Or even CAREs about the TRUTH.”

Oh how much lighter the air was the following morning.  Eyebrows were raised when people learned that Britain stood up for us. “Maybe their new leader WILL prove to be straight and strong?” people stated aloud.

Maybe some of you remember Mali, one of the secretaries that I work with, whom I love, and whom I have shared my love for Him. Many of you have prayed for her. Today as I read about the shocking upset in the E.U. elections yesterday and how TOTALLY unexpected the defeat of the left wing social democrat was and how upset everyone is with the win by the conservative candidate and how the polls were all wrong, I burst out laughing.

“I can barely believe it, but here it is.  Look Mali.  God answers prayer.” I explained to her a bit about the IFI conference.

“It only meets once a year?  Why doesn’t it meet every day?” she nearly yelled.

“Oh Mali, we meet several times a week but the people come from the nations to pray once a year,” I explained.

She is amazed to find out that people PAY THEIR WITH THE OWN MONEY to come here to pray for us. She became full of questions as I shared about the answers to prayer and the urgency to pray for the nations at this moment in history.

“They KNOW that God (she says ‘h’shem – or The Name and I say “Elohim” or God Almighty and it doesn’t offend her) promised to Avraham that He would bless those who bless us and curse those who curse us.  Do you see the way that the storms hit them EVERY TIME they do these terrible things?”  I told her. “Sadly, so many don’t believe in God, or The Bible.”

She turned and shook her head. “I can’t understand that,” she said. “How can someone not believe GOD?”

We have to get back to work but I see that she HEARD me and she is wondering. Because her Rabbi told her not to listen to me, I have had to be very careful to not say anything without His leading, but He Who knows the heart is also The One Who makes the key to each heart.

It was a different response when I took a taxi to the conference.  I don’t often take taxis, but I have had some strong leg pain and the walk up to the hotel from the train seemed like a foolish move. My taxi driver was an Arab man and we exchanged a few pleasantries, asking about one another’s families, health, and the weather.  “What are you going to do at the hotel?” he asked.

That was an unusual question. “I’m visiting some friends and we are meeting together to pray.”

His eyes turned hard and immediately the atmosphere turned icy and then silent.  I realized that he must have known that it was a prayer for Israel conference.  Most people here know that God hears and answers prayer, not everyone is happy with that.

Our son in law is also being touched by a new view on the reality of God. It is such a blessing having them here and we have had ample opportunity to sow into their lives. Thank you for praying for my son in law to be able to make ends meet with his work as a locksmith. It is a challenge to establish a new business and he does not yet grasp the necessity of constantly working at advertising his services. The other night he shocked us by giving up and saying that he wants to move back to America! Yes, it was probably frustration speaking, but I continue to ask for prayer for them to be established and rooted in the land. Even though he was born and lived most of his life here and our daughter has also been here for nearly 2/3 of her life, it is not easy here. Comparing it to America, where they have just spent the past 4 years, the enemy loves to throw everyone discouraging thoughts, which leads away from God’s will.

Many of you pray regularly for aliyah, and you know that one of the main prayers is that those who come will also be rooted and blessed in the land.  Thank you for continuing to pray for them to be established here. I have given Yitzhak’s card to many people whom I meet at work and several have called him for work, but he needs a steady stream of callers.  Mostly, they need to come to HIM, to find HIM Who is our Peace and our Wisdom in EVERY situation.  Thank you for praying.

Finally, before I fall into bed, one of the side blessings of the Prayer conference is once again getting to hug and have my heart stirred by old friends, and meeting and making new ones.  There is never enough TIME, because GOD must be the center and purpose, but oh what a joy to be with such a body!  I am overwhelmed by the love, the reflection of Him, shown in each of His sheep.

Thank you for your prayers for this nation and people, for the body here, and for our family.  God bless you.

Your sister here in Jereusalem,

J

 

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Prayers for America (2/16/2017)

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“Son you have been deceived.”

This short message came to me after praying for hours in the early morning of July 8, 1994. I knelt on the floor next to my bed in an upstairs bedroom of my two-bedroom townhouse apartment in Ames, Iowa.

The words were not the ones I longed to hear from the Lord at that particular moment. I hoped to hear about a miraculous deliverance, much like the Lone Ranger arriving on his white stallion, Silver, with the U. S. Cavalry riding alongside.

Those five words could have just as well been etched on my gravestone. They ripped my life to shreds. My prophetic calling, ministry, and finances died right then and there. Rigor mortis settled upon my dreams as I knelt on the carpet.

If the Apostle Peter’s worst day occurred when he denied Jesus three times, then this was my all-time worst day. Every bad day since then has been, at best, a little speed bump on the road of life compared to that day.

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

I know what it’s like to be deceived. It’s painful and costly to relationships and finances. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever suffer through such agonizing experiences. But most of all, if I fell under the spell of deception again, I’d want someone crying to the Lord and praying for me.

My prayer today:

Lord, I cry out to You and stand in the gap for all of the protesters who are filled with anger and outrage at Your servant President Donald Trump. Lord have mercy upon them as You did for me and open their hearts up to the love of the truth.

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

 

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