Monthly Archives: April 2016

Thursday’s Prayers for America (4/28/2016)

 

When I was 9 years old, my dad taught me how to drive a 1940 Plymouth Coupe. It had a stick shift and more than a few dents. He would allow me to drive the car out to the pasture to herd the cows, and every so often, if Mom didn’t know, he’d let me drive the old coupe to the Haldane Elevator.

“Just a young boy with two hands on the wheels…but I was Mario Andretti when Daddy let me drive.” (Drive by Alan Jackson.)

Today, I still can’t listen to Jackson sing his song without tearing up. You see, the memories of Dad allowing me to drive his old car are still so precious to me. And as Jackson sang: “I can’t replace the way it made me feel…”

I was blessed to have a dad who loved me and who left me with such wonderful memories.

But over the years, I’ve learned that not every child has had a wonderful father like mine. Some children suffered from abusive fathers. Some suffered with a alcoholic or drug addicted fathers. Some fathers weren’t there for their children. On and on the woes can be added up.

My prayer today:

Lord, send Your prophets with the Elijah spirit upon them so that their proclamations will turn the hearts of fathers back to their children and the children’s hearts back to their fathers. O Lord, do this before it’s too late. (Based on Malachi 4:5-6)

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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“My Church is a Bunch of Nice Losers” (Part 4)

It was a Wednesday night, which meant the Iowa State campus bars were busy. I parked on a side street near the largest beer joint, repositioned my cap with its JESUS lettering on the front, picked up my Bible, and headed for the place.

I walked inside and over to the bar on the side wall. The bartender wiped the counter in front of me. “What would you like, sir?” he asked.

“A Pepsi,” I replied.

He laughed. “Tell you what I’m going to do, this one’s on the house. You just might add some excitement to our crowd tonight,” he said, pouring ice and Pepsi into a tall glass.

I thanked him, turned around, and walked over to the largest table I could find. I sat down and began reading my Bible, even though loud music blasted through an overhead stereo system.

A few minutes, a frat guy and his date stopped by my table. “What are you doing?” he asked, sipping his beer.

I looked up and smiled. “I’m holding a Bible study,” I said.

“You can’t hold a Bible study in a bar!”

“Yes, I can. This is the perfect place.”

“You should really hold your study in a church or maybe in your home.”

“That’s where I used to hold Bible studies, but you and your friends didn’t show up there. So, I’ve decided to come where you are – to the bars.”

“You’re a nut!”

“Yes, I’m a nut for Jesus.”

He and his girl friend shook their heads and walked away.

But it wasn’t long before six or seven students sat at my table and a bunch of kids stood around us. All fired questions at me, about my beliefs, about Bible concerns, and so forth. One girl summed up what everyone felt: “Jesus would never walk into a campus bar. He wouldn’t do that!”

“Well, He came here tonight,” I said, “because He lives in me. And you know what? Jesus absolutely loves you because He went to the cross with you on His mind.”

What did I accomplish at that campus bar?

I really have no clue, but I felt the Lord wanted me to go there. So I just obeyed Him.

Now, to be honest, as I walked from my truck to the front door of the bar, my brain screamed: “You’re crazy to do this. God would never want you to do this. Why the bouncer will pick you up by your neck and through you out into the street. Jesus’ name will be muddied by your actions.”

After I opened the bar’s door and stepped inside, my brain shut up and His grace fell upon me. I felt bold as the Lion of Judah.

This was the night I learned that the Lord’s grace, boldness, and anointing awaited us in the action, not outside on the street, looking in.

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel,” and on that particular autumn night in 1993, the walls encircling my world fell down.

(Continued in Part 5…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (4/26/2016)

Uzbekistan: 30.9 million people (82.8% Muslim and 2.1% Christian) Persecution Level: Severe

Uzbekistan is the most populous Central Asian country and has the largest military. The country’s political system is highly authoritarian and its use of torture is “systematic.”

Life for Christians:
Christians are branded as “extremists” by the government, and they face massive fines, detention, and arrest for “illegal religious activity.” Unregistered religious meetings are raided. State-controlled media encourages prejudices against minority religious groups. (Voice of the Martyrs)

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up laborers for Your harvest in Uzbekistan who are willing to deny themselves, pick up their cross daily, and follow You, trusting that Your blood and their testimonies will overcome Satan, even if they are faced with death. (Based on Luke 9:23 and Revelation 12:11)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for prisoners in Asia, according to Hebrews 13:3.

 Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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“My Church is a Bunch of Nice Losers” (Part 3)

The battle lines were drawn in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas was backed by dozens of officers and servants from the chief priests and Pharisees, all armed with clubs, and also, a fully armed cohort of Roman soldiers stood behind them, ready to fight. Opposite them stood Jesus and His eleven disciples, armed with two swords.

When Jesus announced, “I am He” to their questions, Judas and his whole group stepped away from the Lord and fell to the ground, bowled over by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Was Peter emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit? Scripture does not say, but Peter did draw his sword and slice off the ear of a servant of the high priest just after Judas and his group stood up again.

Peter’s impetuous deed forced Jesus to act.

But in Jesus’s action, we are given insight into spiritual warfare. His healing of Malchus demonstrated that spiritual battles are not fought against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, regardless of the circumstances facing us.

Love never fails…(1 Corinthians 13:1)

Okay, why did Jesus heal Malchus?

After all, Jesus’ act of love was not mentioned at His trials before Caiaphas or Herod or Pilate. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote about it and for sure, Malchus told everyone about it.  And who knows how many of the other witnesses in the Garden told people about it. Jesus’  act of love may have ushered thousands of people into the Kingdom of God.

One act of love by one person can change lives for all of eternity and defeat the plans of Satan.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21 NLT)

(Continued in Part 4…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)

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My Church is a Bunch of Nice Losers (Part 2)

The recent brouhaha in North Carolina where the state legislators have passed a wide-ranging bill barring transgender people from bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match the gender on their birth certificates has certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest. The fallout so far has included threatened and real boycotts by Bruce Springsteen, Pepsi, Whole Foods, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, NFL, NBA, and so forth.

Then, last week, Target upped the ante by announcing: “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their transgender identities.

What this means is that men may now walk into Target’s women’s restrooms in all of their 1,793 U. S. stores if they choose to do so.

“Holy Cow!” proclaimed Harry Caray from his gravesite in Chicago.

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man. (Proverbs 27:20)

Sin is never satisfied. It’s like a burning fire that never says, “Enough.

Just so everyone knows: I believe transgendered people are pawns for Satan in the spiritual war being waged in American right now. How we treat them is important to the heart of the Father. Transgenders are not our enemies nor is Target, who is a puppet with Satan pulling its strings.

What are Christians doing about this issue right now?

The American Family Association  is calling for a boycott of Target’s stores:

Clearly, Target’s new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority.

Countless thousands of believers agree with AFA and have notified Target of their disagreements with its transgender bathroom decision and that they will no longer shop at Target.

Now, if you feel the Holy Spirit has told you to boycott Target, by all means do so. You will be blessed for obeying the Lord.

But remember this: boycotting stores is not a divine weapon of spiritual warfare for us believers — unless specified by the Lord — but it is instead, a weapon of our flesh. Thus, we can not expect to destroy arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God and we will not take every thought captive to obey Christ.

From my viewpoint, boycotting Target is a losers’ position for the Church.

So, what should we instead do in this spiritual battle?

(Continued in Part 3….if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)

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The Rumors of Larry’s Death Were Not Greatly Exaggerated (Part 13)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

A Catholic friend of mine hungered for the baptism of the Holy Spirit for many months. Her trips to large Charismatic Renewal conferences in Des Moines and Kansas City resulted in nothing happening for her.

So, she came up with a Plan B. When her husband left for work and her children attended school, she would go into the living room, place candles on the floor, light them, and bow down in the middle of the lit candles. There she cried out to God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Plan B failed, too.

On a July 4th holiday weekend, she invited another family to their home for a picnic. What says Independence Day more than hot dogs, potato salad, and a picnic, right? While she stirred a large batch of potato salad, she looked out the window at her friends and husband, and at that precise moment, she was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.

Now, think about this for a few seconds. What was God thinking when He baptized her in the Holy Spirit at that awkward moment? Couldn’t He have performed it at a more opportune time?

REMEMBER: God is Boss and He chooses the breakthrough times in our lives. We don’t!

A little over four weeks ago, I turned on the water, stepped into the shower, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship.”

I was absolutely shocked because I had not thought about that particular men’s fellowship in over twenty-five years. The FGBF had been an important part of my life in my early Christian years, but I had drifted away when I moved to Ames, Iowa.

As soon as I dried myself and slipped on some clothes, I rushed downstairs to check on the computer for the nearest FGBF chapter. None were nearby or within fifty miles. Yet, in my Google searches, I ran across another businessmen’s group: Business Men’s Fellowship. There was a local phone number for BMF and I called it.

My phone call resulted in a meeting at Starbucks with Bill Keith, who had moved to Temecula a few months before and happens to be a great guy and the national president for Business Men’s Fellowship. What a remarkable coincidence, right?

We talked for a few minutes and then I looked at him and said, “I’ve been waiting for twenty-two years for you. Where have you been?”

(Continued in Part 14…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (4/21/2016)

The vibrant sounds of Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number Seven swirled through the Beacon Hill mansion’s ballroom. The fifteen females seated around the grand piano, listening to the maestro, had proper Brahmin names like Cabot, Coolidge, Forbes, Lodge, or Shaw. Each traced her ancestry back to the earliest Puritan settlers of Boston. This blueblood lineage insured their invitation to the social tea, no nouveau riche Johnny-come-latelies were among the invitees.

When the pianist completed the piece, he stood and bowed. The women showed their appreciation with warm applause. One of the ladies put her white-gloved hands to her mouth and said, “Oh, I would just do anything to be able to play the piano like that.”

The maestro turned and stared at her. His eyes exploded with fire.

“No you wouldn’t,” he said.

The crowd gasped in unison. All felt sorry for the woman who had been openly rebuked by the man’s insensitive words.

As for the lady, she sat stunned, paralyzed by his harsh eyes, tears rolled down her cheeks. Then, as if she remembered her privileged pedigree, she mouthed three defiant words at the pianist: “Yes, I would.”

“No you wouldn’t,” he said again, leaning over the piano toward the lady.

“Because if you really meant what you said, you would have been willing to give up your youth, your teenage years, and eight to ten hours every day practicing on the piano. You see there is a price to sit on this bench. I’ve been willing to pay it, and you have not!”

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead And Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2013, Amazon eBook)

Like the short story, there’s a price which must be paid if you want to win spiritual battles. There are no shortcuts!

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up thousands of American believers who are willing to endure afflictions and hardships for the sake of Your church in America and who are also willing to fight the good fight until death without criticizing Your followers that lack the same intensity and may even oppose these warriors. (Based on 2 Timothy 2:10 and Matthew 7:1-6)

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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