Monthly Archives: May 2014

Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (5/30/2014)

display-thumbnail-gospel-for_asia-RT09-03703

 

A few years ago, I had a vision which demanded a decision.

In it, I visited a dark, smelly prison cell in North Korea. A young Christian woman was the only prisoner there. She had been repeatedly raped, beaten, tormented, and abused. The cell was freezing cold because it was winter time. She wore a tattered, thin dress and had no blankets to protect her from the frigid temperatures. She ate rice husks and was starving to death. A bucket in the corner was her toilet. Rats scampered around her feet.

My level of Christianity could do little to help her. She needed something more than a big smile, a pat on the back, and a “Just trust Jesus ” from me.

As I stood there, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. “Will you trade places with her?”

If the young lady had been standing in front of a firing squad, I would have gladly volunteered without hesitation. I am not afraid of death, but that was not the case.

The horrible conditions paralyzed my tongue.

If I could have, I would have rebooted the vision to anywhere but that rat-infested cell. I wanted to yell, “No. Find someone else to take her place. I will pray for her and give extra money to missionaries, but this it too much to ask from me.”

Somehow, I remembered my words to the Lord on the day He saved me. I asked Him to send me to the places no one else wanted to go to. What could I do?

“I trust You, Lord. I will take her place,” I whispered through sobs.

The vision ended.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us American believers to remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since we are also in the body. (Based on Hebrews 13:3)

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.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, India, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Vacation Bible School? Really?

gospelforasia-RT13-05339-VBS

 

I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois and attended a small one-room schoolhouse from first grade through fifth grade. The friends I played baseball with in the summertime attended a much larger grade school in Forreston, seven miles from our farm. These friends invited me to Vacation Bible School because we wanted to spend more time together.

In my case, the one thing I took away from Vacation Bible School was one Bible verse:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Maybe you’re not impressed with my retention of just one verse, right?

Yet, Bill Hamon once said that if an atheist spoke John 3:16 to a stadium filled with thousands of atheists, God would honor His word and someone would get saved. That is the power of John 3:16.

Over the following thirty years, I often saw signs with John 3:16 printed on them. Each worked on my heart like a hammer until finally I gave my life to the Living Word – Jesus Christ.

So, you can understand my passion for Vacation Bible School because it works. I am proof of that.

In 2013, hundreds of thousands of Indian children attended Gospel for Asia’s Vacation Bible Schools throughout India. Each one heard about Jesus. Each memorized verses. Many were saved and their parents also were saved.

If you can afford $5 or $25 to help sponsor children this year, please consider doing so. You can check out a great two minute video, narrated by Natalie Grant, and learn more about the VBS program here.

Vacation Bible School? It really works. Let’s be a part of what’s happening in India today.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Gifts of the Spirit, Gospel For Asia, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Tuesday’s Prayers for America (5/27/20140

IMG_2413

 

Lazarus was just an unknown guy from a small village named Bethany, located two miles from Jerusalem. He, along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, followed Jesus.

Then, Lazarus became sick. The two sisters sent for Jesus and hoped He would come quickly to Bethany and heal their brother. Jesus remarked, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son may be glorified through it.

Jesus waited two more days and then said, “Let us go…Our friend Lazarus has died.”

The One who holds the keys of death and the grave eventually arrived at the tomb of Lazarus. He had the stone rolled away and said, “Lazarus come out.

Lazarus walked out of the tomb.

From this day forward, Lazarus became well-known. Crowds wanted to see and meet him. Chief priests wanted to kill him because many Jews believed in Jesus on account of Lazarus’ testimony.

Eusebius, the historian, wrote in the second century that the village was no longer called Bethany, but its name had been changed to the “place of Lazarus.”

Today, I prayed:

Lord, for all the prophets and apostles in America whose callings and ministries are lying dead in tombs of bad finances, impossible relationships, sickness, mistakes, errors, and whatever hopelessness has befallen them, I pray, “Lazarus, come forth and change America by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimonies.” (Based on John 11: 43 and Revelation 12:11)

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

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

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

A Memorial Day Discovery

I have watched the above 2 minute video of K. P. Yohannan nearly ten times over the last few days. It seemed like there was a deeper message in it for me, but I could not grasp it. My frustration level blew past the boiling-over point.

Then, I discovered this morning there was a video of Yohannan’s preaching his whole message on the Call of Christ. I watched it just now.

Yohannan touched on three points in the video that broke my heart:

1. He told the story of a 28 year-old Sri Lankan woman who laid down her medical practice and committed her life to guerrilla warfare and killing people for the possible freedom of her Tamil people. She was captured and faced death. She said, “I am so glad I am in prison. Even through my death, if I can further our cause one step, I am grateful for that.”

If that is the commitment for something that is so hopeless, what kind of commitment do I have? (K. P. Yohannan)

2. If your church is only making you a better Christian, a better family man, a better father, a better mother, I am sorry for you. This is only the beginning. The call of Christ is for you to die, not to live. I can assure you of that. (K. P. Yohannan)

3. At the 19 minute mark in the video, Yohannan told the story of a 60-year old man who asked what he could do. What the man eventually did and to hear Yohannan declare, “What a privilege,” stirred my heart. (K. P. Yohannan)

If you want to see the whole forty minute message, you can see it here.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Gospel For Asia, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer, spiritual warfare

Inside Israel

IMG_0568

 

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 …

Dearest Sisters and Brothers of like-precious faith, I greet you for His glory and blessing.  May you be blessed and encouraged as we grow together in the knowledge of Him Who Alone is worthy of all praise!

Shalom. Once again I should be headed to bed but so want to share with you from the smelting pot of testing and grace.

The streets and public transportation of Jerusalem afford me a peculiar set of eyeglasses to see this city.  I had a couple of interesting encounters this past week that reminded me of the vantage point that I have and the obligation I feel to share it.

The first event took place on my beloved bus.  Coming home from work I see many of the same faces day after day, even as tired as I am.  We nod, sometimes exchange a few words, but being a crowded public bus, there are always new people on board as well. I groaned with relief as I fell into a seat the other day, next to a woman about my own age.  I had been standing for much of the ride and it felt so good to be sitting.

As I watched others boarding the already packed bus, a rather disheveled, large woman boarded and walked toward the back. The bus driver called her forward and there was some jostling and soon quite a bit of noise. The woman was yelling.  At first I couldn’t make out what was going on, but she was speaking English and it soon became clear.  She hadn’t paid and refused to pay.  She began yelling, cursing the Jews, cursing Israel and all Israelis.  She was neither Jewish nor Arab from her looks.  The entire bus cringed.  She threw the money at the driver.  The woman next to me said, “Oh!  I would have given her money for her ticket.  Some people can’t afford it.  I would give the money…”

All around me men and women cringed in pain and I recognized it.  I wonder if I can describe it.  It is a particular pain that comes when your race is being hated.  We are surely not alone in feeling that.  Arabs feel that…Blacks feel that…Hispanics… Orientals… Caucasians…ALL people have likely felt that.  Some get angry.  Some ignore it.  I have noticed that Jews and Israelis usually cringe with pain.  The whole bus was cringing with pain.

The woman next to me said again, “Poor woman.  She is crazy.  Maybe she doesn’t have any money.  We are not all bad, are we?”

I told her about an old woman at my work that had an even older Mother, nearly one hundred.  The Mother was blind and ill, but every Friday morning she would feel her way down the stairs to the street and give a shekel to a beggar who came at the same time.  When her daughter saw her do this one day, she said, “Mama, why are you doing this?”

Her mother answered, “Ora, even a beggar should be able to have flowers for Shabat.”

That started the ball rolling.  Stories began to pour forth, hidden gifts given anonymously for years, different ways that people could help one another without fanfare.  I kept turning the conversation back to God and my seat mate smiled and said, “You know, I may not LOOK like it (she was wearing pants, so obviously not religious) but I love God and fear Him too.”

I smiled and said, “Oh,  so do I.  And His Word says that He doesn’t look on the outward, but on the heart.”

She asked, “Do you think that God sees this?”

Our ride was right at the end now but I smiled at her, squeezed her hand, and said, “I KNOW that He does.”

We bid each other a very warm “shalom” and parted ways, but I wondered about the bus encounters and the juxtaposition of people and events and the prevalence of hatred.

 

I thought of the cursing bus-woman again today as I had a totally different encounter.  I was in the shuk.  I have described the shuk to you countless times, but will just remind you that amongst all of the food vendors there are also small open-air shops that sell dry goods, clothing, and all manner of merchandise.  I stopped to look at a light-weight bag hanging from the roof of a tiny 3 walled shop.  Spoken English always catches my ear and there was the young Ethiopian-descent shop owner speaking English with an older black woman who had a thick French accent.  As I listened, she explained to him that her daughter had married a Jewish man. They moved here from France.  It was her first time visiting and the language was hard for her.  The young man asked her what she thought of the country.

“I think it is good,” she said. “There is just something here that I can’t explain, that is good.  They are happy too.”

The young man said, “I have lived in Canada and in Australia but this is the best place in the world.  It is the place that we have to be and it is wonderful.”

Now I REALLY paid attention.

The woman went on, “There is something…well…different about the people here.  They take time to talk to you.  They help you.  They are kind and smile at you. It is not like people in France.”

My mind jumped back to the cursing bus lady earlier in the week.  The young man saw me looking at them and asked me if I needed help.  I answered in Hebrew and said, “Oh no, I am fine but excuse me for intruding, it is just so wonderful hearing this conversation.”

He smiled and I said, “I agree. This is the place that God has called us back to and the place where He said that He would bless us if we turn to Him.”

We kept the line of discussion going and he asked me where I was from.  As I shared I felt as if we were in sort of a bubble separated from the rest of the world.  We were all smiling and there was real warmth being exchanged.

Up until this time I had been speaking in Hebrew and the young man would translate for the woman.  She turned to him and said, “Doesn’t this woman shine?  I mean there is such a Light coming from her from inside.”

I was taken aback.  It has seemed a long time since I heard those words and I wasn’t feeling particularly spiritual.  I said, “If there is any Light in me it is the Light of God in Yeshua.  He Is The Light who called us here.”

I surprised myself, but they didn’t seem to hear me say this. They just kept smiling and the atmosphere was permeated with such a love.

The two encounters made me think again about how MUCH our response to EVERY situation is so important.  David responded to the words of the prophet Nathan pointing out his sin with Bat Sheva by saying: “IT IS ME LORD.  I HAVE SINNED BEFORE YOU.”

Saul responded to the words of the prophet Samuel pointing out his sin of disobedience by saying, “IT IS NOT ME.  I HAVE OBEYED THE LORD”

Two kings and two different responses.

 

I don’t know what caused the cursing woman on the bus to arrive at the state that she was in. But I think of things common to man: rejection, hurt, offense, deep wounds, and sin. These things are danger points in our lives.  We can respond by growing angry, bitter, hurt, but these things turn us AWAY from God.  God HAS a proper response for us to give when awful things happen to us. Simply put, we will either turn to God and embrace His strong medicine, or turn AWAY from God and sink in the mire of our own emotions, the world’s answers or counterfeit solutions.

Here I go again…telling you stuff that you already know when I need to go to bed.  Oh BLESSINGS to you dear sisters and brothers.  May we each press more and more into Him Who really IS the only way, Truth and Light.  Love from your sister in the midst

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (5/23/2014)

display-thumbnail-gospel-for_asia-RT09-03703

The Apostle Paul referred to himself as a “prisoner of the Lord or a prisoner of Christ Jesus” six different times in his letters to the Ephesians, Timothy, and Philemon. Paul wrote these letters when he was an old man by first-century standards. He was approximately fifty-six years old.

Ten years earlier, Paul wrote:

We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us. (1 Thessalonians 2:18 NLT)

Wait a second, right?

In the letters to the Ephesians, Timothy, and Philemon, Paul was in prison or under house arrest in Rome. When he stated that Satan hindered him, Paul was in Corinth planting a church and was a free man.

Was Paul a prisoner of the kingdom of darkness when he wrote the letter to the Thessalonians? No, I don’t believe so.

It is my opinion that Paul’s revelation of Christ grew over the ten years between the writing of Thessalonians and his writing the three letters. He understood that if Satan prevented him from going somewhere or doing something, it was because Christ allowed it. Paul was Christ’s chosen ambassador. Demons could not deter him from running the race set before him.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray for your prisoners of the Lord in America that the Father of glory may give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened, that they may know what is the hope to which He has called them, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward those who believe. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-19)

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Gospel For Asia, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

29 Years Ago…

klkl

 

I started a farm publishing company in Louisville, Kentucky, but from its shoestring beginning, it always needed more money. Hot Line, Inc. purchased the company in 1981. My wife, our two children, and I moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, in the spring of 1982, purchasing a brick home on Sixth Avenue North. There I managed the new Farm Blue Division for Hot Line.

After a year with Hot Line, I left and started a new publication, still chasing my dreams of being wealthy, as in stinking rich. But it all came crashing down in 1985 because I needed thousands of dollars to start a new publishing company and bail my family out of debt. Our financial resources were maxed out. My inner reservoir was empty and I was finished.

Our only untouched asset was a $125,000 life insurance policy on me. The solution seemed obvious: suicide.

Suicide posed no moral obstacles for me because I was an agnostic. No God equaled zero problems with eternal judgment after carrying out a final business decision. My plan was to enjoy the family for the weekend and commit suicide on the following Monday.

May 20, 1985, arrived with me figuring this was the end of the line. I was not jittery about the decision, but instead I finished up a few loose ends in the morning. I ate leftovers for lunch along with drinking cups of coffee. Later that afternoon, I drove downtown to visit an insurance agent.

Bill Sheridan and I knew each other, but we were not intimate friends. His son played on a youth baseball team, which I had coached the year before. Our relationship was built on after-game conversations, standing in parking lots next to baseball diamonds. He was not even my life insurance agent.

Why did I stop to see him that day? I do not really know for sure, but I think a business partner of mine, suggested I should see him for some reason.

Bill invited me into his office. He sat in a chair behind his desk while I sat in a chair opposite him. We discussed sports and the prospects for our son’s upcoming baseball seasons. In the middle of our conversation, he stared at me.

“You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?” he said, his eyes zeroing in on mine.

His words hit like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday for my family. Words fluttered around my brain, but failed to connect with my tongue. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind showing my old Chevy Vega ramming into a viaduct and killing me. I wept, and although attempting to regain composure, I could not.

“How did you know?” I asked through sobs.

“Oh, the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief because I realized that God was alive and cared about me. We continued talking and he gave me a book: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. Bill eventually shook my hand and said one more explosive comment before I left.

“I speak in tongues,” he said.

Walking to my car, I thought, this God-stuff is real. It’s not hocus-pocus tomfoolery after all. I wept all the way home.

I walked into our empty house and sat down on the loveseat in the living room, facing the fireplace. I began reading Power in Praise. Each page seemed to have been written with me in mind. After twenty-five pages, I put the book down on the coffee table and walked into the downstairs bathroom. I locked the door behind me. There I knelt on the floor in front of the bathroom sink, using it as an altar for my hands. My reflection in the mirror revealed a desperate man.

“Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I knew Jesus was alive and now lived inside of me. I wept for joy, knowing He loved me. I worshipped Him and prayed verbatim Footprints in the Sand as a personal prayer, but I added a new twist for its ending.

“Lord, I’m never climbing out of Your arms because You’re always going to have to carry me. I’m too weak.”

(The above excerpt is from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, Amazon eBook,  © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven)

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, Inspirational, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Shameless Advertising