Monthly Archives: February 2014

Leadership: Yipes!

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As a birthday present to myself in 2002, I attended a two-day home church seminar put on my Tony and Felicity Dale in Oxnard, California. The meeting was held in an old barn with forty or so people in the place.

I knew no one and also knew very little about the home church movement in America.

During a break, a man introduced himself and we struck up a conversation. The man said something that has stuck with me ever since: “Frank Viola is the most radical leader in the home church movement.”

Now, the man spoke the words as a warning to me, but it had the opposite affect. You see, I like radicals and made up my mind to read as many of Frank Viola’s books as possible. I now enjoy all of Viola’s books and his blog. And what’s more, I even like Viola as a person.

Now, I said all of the above as a way to introduce the best article I have ever seen on New Testament church leadership. And let me tell you, all of Christianity needs to read this and be set free from the myths that keeps us Christians in bondage to our false leadership ideas. You can read the whole article here.

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Behind the Veil of Tears

My life was forever changed in 2011 when I read No Longer a Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan.

The stories about 9.9 million little girls between the ages of 4 and 11 years of age being homeless and walking the streets of India attempting to survive, the stories about 300 million downtrodden Indian people who are considered untouchable because they were born to the wrong parents, and the stories about the degradation of women in India crushed my heart.

My poor heart has never recovered nor do I ever want it to revert back to before reading Yohannan’s book.

The above video was produced by the Saylor Brothers and the quality is A+++, but it is 17 minutes and 22 seconds long. If you have the time, watch it. You won’t regret doing so.

Just so you know: I wept all the way through it, thinking about the six children my wife and I sponsor through GFA’s Bridge of Hope program and asking the Lord to show me how we can do more.

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Got 99¢

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Beginning today and ending on February 26, my novel Jonah is on sale at Amazon for $.99. You can download it onto your Kindle or any iPad, PC, Mac, iPhone, and all smartphones with Kindle apps.

Amazon Book Description:

The novel, Jonah, consists of two novellas written specifically for people who live in a post-911 America and who no longer see hope in a watered down, same-o same-o religion.

The main character in the first novella, Jeremiah, has his dreams wrecked by a late night visitation with an angel. Then, he receives a prophetic message for San Francisco. Will the city heed Jeremiah’s warning or is the city doomed?

In the second novella, Jonah, two prophets receive identical messages for the West Coast. Though each faces different struggles, it comes down to whether or not the people believe the prophets’ words. If the prophetic words are ignored, what will happen?

Fiction or prophecy? Time will soon reveal the answer to all of us.

Check out the two reader reviews here.

261 Pages           Reg. Price: $3.99     Author & Publisher: Larry Nevenhoven

Available at Amazon for Kindle and Kindle Apps.

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (2/18/2014)

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Ananias and Sapphira, who sold property and then kept back part of the proceeds in Acts 5:1-11, may have been leaders for the mushrooming Jerusalem Church. The church was approximately four years old and had grown to more than ten thousand members at the time. Could Ananias and Sapphira have been pastors, teachers, or overseers?

The scripture does not really give us concrete answers for Ananias and Sapphira, but allow me to make a few points:

1. Barnabas was mentioned two verses earlier as giving proceeds from a sale of land to the apostles. He was a teacher, and then later, an apostle.

2. The Bible was not written in chapter and verse format, but rather in regular prose. The Ananias and Sapphira example was written to contrast with the Barnabas example. The word “but” indicates a contrast.

3. James mentioned that teachers are judged according to tougher standards than ordinary believers. James would have been there when the Ananias and Sapphira incident happened.

4. Paul stated that elders should be rebuked openly so that all people will fear God.

5. The qualifications for overseer included being above reproach, not greedy, and able to manage his household well.

6. The Apostle Peter dealt with both Ananias and Sapphira. The scene did not take place at the Temple, but in a home where most likely a house church assembled. Maybe Peter met with believers like Ananias and Sapphira to help them in their callings. Paul did this at Ephesus.

At the least, Ananias and Sapphira were well-known by believers so that when they died for lying to the Holy Spirit, great fear fell upon the whole church.

My prayer for America today:

“Lord, raise up leaders in America who will be our fathers in Christ because they actually imitate Christ. “(Based on 1 Corinthians 4:15-16)

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

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

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Lord, Help me Love Democrats (Part 4)

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In the late 1980’s, Charisma Magazine published an interview of Dr. David Yonggi Cho, pastor and founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. Cho stated the simple reason Yoido had 1,000,000 members was prayer. He went on to say that he and his four hundred assistant pastors averaged three hours per day in prayer. The church’s prayer team consisted of 250,000 members, each averaging between two and three hours per day in prayer.

Cho felt everything accomplished by his church began in prayer and finished with prayer.

“Dr. Cho, will America ever have a church like Yoido Full Gospel Church?” asked the interviewer.

“No,” replied David Yonggi Cho, “Americans aren’t willing to pay the price it costs to pray enough to make such a church happen.”

The accuracy of Cho’s words bugged me then and still does today.

But interestingly enough, Yoido Full Gospel began in 1973, the exact year Roe vs. Wade became law and also when Rev. Jerry Falwell noticed the moral decline in America.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. (2 Corinthians 10:3)

Rev. Jerry Falwell was first of all a speaker, as in preacher and teacher. His radio and television programs afforded him speaking outlets. The megachurch membership at Thomas Road Baptist Church was built on his speaking abilities.

I’m not insinuating Falwell did not pray because I’m sure he did, but his main tool, as with most American pastors, was speaking.

And what is the main tool of politicians? Of course, it’s speaking.

Why do you think the conservatives and Republicans asked Falwell to co-found Moral Majority, along with Paul Weyrich? Falwell was the dynamic speaker who had a base of followers and Weyrich understood grassroots politics.

All of this makes logical sense to fight bad laws and policies with a dynamic Christian political speaker and super-activist political organizer, but spiritual battles are not won with logic.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

I believe one of Rev. Falwell’s main mistakes was fighting a spiritual battle with fleshly weapons, much like politicians do. Sadly, this mistake continues today.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (2/14/2014)

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Two years ago, I felt the Lord speak to my heart: “If I asked you to exchange places with a prisoner in a North Korean prison, would you do it?”

I then had a vision of a prisoner  huddling in the corner of a dark cell. The prisoner’s eyes mirrored the fear and hopelessness of his situation. His haggard face and skinny arms revealed the dangerous malnutrition he suffered. The ragged clothing he wore offered little protection from the frigid temperatures of the North Korean winter.

The vision seemed so real, that it felt like if I answered “yes,” the exchange would happen immediately. My wife, my family, and my friends would never know what happened to me. I would be gone. All of my writing and everything I ever hoped to accomplish would be left behind.

To be honest, the Lord’s question stirred up mountains of fear within me. I really did not want to exchange places with the prisoner. Yet, how could I say “no” to the One who took my place on the cross almost two thousand years ago and saved me from suicide just twenty-nine years ago.

“Lord, it’s not my will to exchange places with a prisoner, but Your will be done in my life,” I finally prayed.

Obviously, the exchange did not take place that day, but that vision and that prayer set me free from whatever might hold me back from recklessly following the Lord wherever He leads me in the future.

So today I prayed:

Lord, help us Americans who wish to be Your disciples, to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily, and then follow You. (Based on Luke 9:23)

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

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (2/11/2014)

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For the 12th consecutive year, North Korea is where Christian persecution is the most extreme. It is estimated 100,000 believers worship the Lord secretly out of a total population of 25 million people. If government authorities catch believers praying, saying the name of Jesus, owning a Bible, or assembling together, they are immediately subject to being executed or thrown into concentration camps.

Right now, 50-70,000 Christians are imprisoned in North Korean concentration camps. These believers are raped, beaten, murdered, starved, and used as slave labor in these horrendous places. The prisoners survive on rice husks, grass, tree bark, bugs, rats, mice, or whatever they can find to eat. Thousands starve and freeze to death each year.

Let’s put on our thinking caps for a moment.

How many types of divisions do you think there are in the Body of Christ in North Korea? Is there a Pentecostal/Charismatic division for those who practice the gifts? Is there a baptism division for those who dunk new believers rather than use sprinkling? Or a King James Bible division? Or a woman pastor/leader division? Or whatever?

No, of course not. You see, there are no divisions in the midst of such extreme cruelty against fellow Christians. The only division is between believers and unbelievers. Period.

Okay, what does this mean for us American believers?

that they [believers] all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)

I guarantee the above prayer by Jesus will be fulfilled so that we believers here in America will be unified and without division. We aren’t there yet, but we will be sometime in the future.

Now, will it take extreme persecution for us American believers to finally be unified? Or can we voluntarily lay our divisions down ahead of time? It will be one or the other.

So, here’s my prayer for America today:

Lord, I pray that we American believers learn how to walk in a manner worthy of You, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Based on Ephesians 4:2-3)

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

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

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