Monthly Archives: March 2017

Inside Israel

SHUK

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 sisters and brothers,

May THE LORD be seen, glorified and blessed, and may you be encouraged and blessed.  May all be for His glory alone Who shed His Blood for our atonement.

Well, after my last rant against the expression of Purim seen first and loudest, I am stirred again by the meaningful side of Purim, the rising expression of which grew louder as the days of Purim came and went out last night in Jerusalem.

I am blessed to be in the best fellowship in the whole world. Our meeting last night set my heart on turning from distractions to focus on what was really in front of my eyes.

Because the battles of yesterday remain until they are finally fully played out in the final days.  Our Pastor pointed out that the human hero-vessel in the drama of the book of Esther is not really Esther, but Mordechai, and all of the other intercessors who STOOD and cried out with long endurance hidden and buffeted, doing their part.  I shifted my eyes to his role and the obedience of all through the ages who have taken their portion and walked faithfully.

Listening to an everyday conversation at the Doctor’s office where I work spoke of the same premise to me: being faithful to the calling in which we are called.

Since Purim isn’t a “commanded holiday, not one that God commanded us to celebrate but one that we took a vow to observe as is noted in Esther chapter 9. It is a half-holiday with schools and public offices closed, but most work places are on what is called a “sabbath footing” or a part day of work.

The other doctor chose to take a full holiday, so we took emergencies only until 1:00 PM.  Two older ladies were sitting in my small part of the office, waiting for their turns to see the doctor, and the talk moved to Purim and how it is celebrated today.  It touched me as I listened and softened my too-quick-to-judge attitude.

One woman was in her late 80s and the other was 90.  Appropriately perhaps, their names were Rachel and Rebecca (Rakel and Rivka in Hebrew).  “I love Purim,” Rakel began.  “I love seeing everyone having so much fun, being so loose and free and not intense but relaxed.” (Huh!  I hadn’t thought of THAT part. We live in such an intense, serious country.)

“I love watching them too,” said 90 year old Rivka, “but they don’t know how to REALLY celebrate it, these young ones.”

I watched as Rakel answered and Rivka shook her head in agreement. “Ah, but we went before them and they watched us and they learn. We teach and they learn and that is what it is all about.”

That is what it is all about, each of these holidays. The passing of the torch, just as Christmas and Resurrection Sunday are used in the Church at large, to turn our eyes toward Him, to remember and worship AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT THIS IS OUR GOD, CLOTHED IN MAJESTY, FAITHFUL, HOLY.

“He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” (Psalm 103:7) 

May we KNOW HIM and HIS WAYS so that we might teach our children more than His ACTS alone. Yet in these holidays we get to share His acts and pray that it stirs them to a wonder about His greatness and omnipotence.

My husband and I sat with a cup of tea in one hand and in the other, a noisemaker called a rash rash in Hebrew, or a gregor in …ah? Whatever form of Jewish mixture language I grew up with in New York. I was reading the book of Esther to him on Sunday night. (My husband is dyslexic and prefers that I do all reading).

Traditionally whenever the name of Haman is read, the irritating noise from the noisemaker is sounded.  TRUE, most people read the scroll (migalat Esther) in groups and in Hebrew together, but my husband wanted to stay home and read in English this year.  It’s different in the large groups. Talk about making a racket!  The children, all sugared up on candy and decked out in costumes are standing on tiptoe listening for every mention of the name Haman.  I must admit that it keeps them alert to listening.

On Saturday night at our fellowship we read it aloud, a different brother or sister reading each chapter.  There it was read in Hebrew, but my husband and I read it in English.  We talked about the time in which it was written, the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem, and the carrying away the people into captivity. Jeremiah’s preaching. The prophets. The kings. This was the time of Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezra. Indeed Ezekiel was among the captives.  How important each one who obediently fulfilled his purpose was in the intricate puzzle of it all.

 

And here we are today.  We are again facing enemies who want to destroy us. The eternal question seems to be: “Who among us will look to God and trust and obey Him?” It seems to me that what happens depends much on the answer to this question.

So yesterday, I rode the bus and train to work. There were small Queen Esthers and Mordechais, full of smiles and carrying baskets, rushing through the cold wet streets to bless people with a “Purim Se’may’akh” greeting.  At work my desk began to pile up with sweets, fruit and nuts and an occasional tube of hand cream.

Someone even gave me a festive card telling me that a donation in my name had been given.  Kindness like this makes us feel like family and enjoying ourselves.

And that was yesterday.

And today: PASSOVER CLEANING BEGINS. AAAARRRRGGGHHH!

I went to the store and could barely get through the aisles as the “not kosher for Passover” food was being hurriedly moved to one aisle while the other aisles were being thoroughly scrubbed.

AND THERE IT WAS – CENTER STAGE RIGHT BY THE DOOR – THE MATZO!

“ALREADY?” was everyone’s response.

Yep, it’s time.  Scrub out the leaven, both inside and out.  A time to REMEMBER and a time to TEACH and a time to walk and seek Him Who is FAITHFUL through all of these ages, faithful to EVERY promise in His Book. I know that you also have no doubt that HE WILL DO IT.  May we fulfill our part, no matter how small or big.

God BLESS you.  May He draw each of us nearer to His heartbeat and may He Alone be glorified.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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My Irish Story

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My roommate Tony and I enjoyed laughing in the midst of our financial struggles. I remember walking to Hy-Vee Grocery Store one morning and seeing a dead pheasant lying next to the road.

“Hey, we might be able to make a stew out of that bird,” said Tony.

“Really?”

“Actually, I’m trying to make up my mind whether I’m that desperate yet.”

Humor helps during bad times, but we were also serious prayer warriors, who believed God could use us to advance His kingdom. Each morning, we waited on the Lord to discover how He wanted us to pray.

Once, we felt He wanted us to pray for Northern Ireland and its violent unrest at the time. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us a clear direction on how to intercede for the war-torn area. I then had a vision in which I saw bodies of young people piled in heaps on the streets of Belfast, thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. Tony and I eventually prayed as best we could to stop this vision from happening in Ireland, but we had no peace about it. I also felt there was an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

I went to my bedroom afterward and prayed, asking the Lord to give the prophecy to some well-known preacher. Who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed the words, I knew it was a bad idea so I repented quickly.

“Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,”  I prayed. With those words, peace settled over me.

The Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the campus two days later. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They all laughed, but one lady suggested I should talk with a secretary in the basement.

I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines.

“Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.

The next day, I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader.

“I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”

Her husband came on the line and gave me the phone number.

I phoned the number in England early the next morning because of the six-hour time difference. The leader’s wife answered and told me her husband was attending a meeting in London. I explained to her the reason for my phone call.

“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.”

She gave me the information.

I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote the prophetic word for Northern Ireland, and then mailed it to the leader in Belfast.

This whole experience was by faith and after dropping the letter into the mailbox, all of my faith dried up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was anyway? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten scrawl, and laugh. But even in the midst of these doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace, asking for grace and mercy to help me through this trial of faith.

Two weeks later, the phone rang on a Sunday afternoon.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland. I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me. Our prayer group had been waiting for just such a word. We are already praying it into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”

We talked for a few minutes and then said our goodbyes. I fell on my knees and wept, realizing how big God is and, by comparison, how little I am. To think God would use me, to pray for such a far off place, which was going through such desperate  life and death struggles, opened my eyes to the greatness of our God. Nothing is impossible for Him.

If there had been a contest for the two most insignificant Christians in America at the time, Tony and I had a chance of winning. My truck had been repossessed. Tony’s car needed a tire. We had no money and AT&T disconnected our phone the very next morning.

God never seems to be bothered by such trivial things as our insignificance in the world.

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

The above took place in 1995. The peace treaty between the IRA and Great Britain was finally signed on Good Friday, 1998, and continues today.

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Prayers for America (3/16/2017)

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I was tired that morning when we parked the Honda next to Phil’s Jeep in Pamela’s driveway. The record seventy-degree temperatures and bright sunny skies did little to energize me. The previous seven weeks had ground me down with Pamela’s wasting away day by day. Her increased reliance on the morphine pump for pain had caused her body organs to begin shutting down. The end loomed near.

Jane opened her door and stepped out of the car. She walked in front of the bumper and stopped to look through the windshield at me, still sitting behind the steering wheel. She mouthed, “What’s wrong,” at me. I shrugged my shoulders and opened the door.

“Sorry, honey,” I said, stepping outside to walk with her. “I’m just tired today.”

“Me, too,” she said, placing her arm around my waist and leaning her head against my shoulder.

“No one should ever die on sunny days like this, especially seven days before Christmas.”

She nodded her head.

We walked into the house without knocking or ringing the doorbell. Formality had lost its meaning on us.

“We’re out in the kitchen,” shouted Phil.

Faye greeted us with hugs while Phil saluted from the breakfast nook table. The four of us were dressed in our normal garb of jeans and t-shirts with nearby sweatshirts draped over chairs, just in case the weather changed.

“I’ve made some coffee. Help yourself,” said Faye, pointing at the coffee maker on the black tile counter.

We poured ourselves a cup and sat down with them at the table.

“How’s she doing,” asked Jane.

“The hospice gal stopped by and told us that she’s slipped into a shallow coma and probably won’t wake up again. The end may happen today,” said Phil.

We chitchatted a while longer. Faye and Phil then left to do some Christmas shopping.

Jane and I drifted into the great room where I sat down in the recliner. My eyes closed almost immediately. A dreamless sleep engulfed me.

“Dylan, Dylan, wake up.”

I struggled to open my eyes and when I did, Jane’s head was next to my ear. She had whispered to me.

“What happened? What time is it? What’s wrong?” I said in rapid-fire bursts, straining to sit up.

“Shush. Listen.”

Someone was singing in a cherubic voice.

Jane pointed at me and motioned for me to follow her. We tiptoed down the hallway to Pamela’s room. We peeked around the corner and saw Pamela with her hands in the air, praising the Lord. I winked at Jane, not knowing what else to do.

“Dylan and Jane come in here,” Pamela said. “Don’t make me whistle, okay?”

A quick memory crossed my mind of Pamela putting her two forefingers in her mouth to form a shrill whistle. She had done it many times at our Last Chance meetings, which always made me laugh aloud at the ridiculousness of an eighty-four year old woman doing such a thing.

Jane walked to one side of the bed while I went to the other side. Pamela lay under the sheets, almost nothing left of her. The cancer had exacted its vicious toll on her muscles and fatty tissues. She reached out her blue veined hands to us. We gently held them in our own.

“The Lord is taking me home today,” she said with a big smile on her face, ” and I’m ready to go. I want to see Jesus and my husband Eldon. I’m so excited.”

What can you add to a statement like this? Nothing.

“But the Lord wants me to tell you two something before I leave.”

“Really?” said Jane, her eyes looking straight at me.

I shrugged.

“Yes, now listen up.”

We nodded in agreement, turning our attention to her.

“The Lord wants the Last Chance groups, like yours, to spread all along the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle. He wants to use senior citizens as His last chance army to touch millions of people −”

“We don’t know how to do this,” I blurted out, not thinking beforehand.

“Shush! Of course, you don’t, but He knows how to do it. Fast and pray and He will show you.”

“Can you tell us more?” I asked, desperately seeking more details.

She smiled at my words and then gasped. Her eyes stared upward as she stepped into eternity.

We stood there for a few minutes, not saying anything or even moving, until Jane pulled the sheet over Pamela’s head.

“Well, what do you think?” she asked.

“I don’t have any answers,” I said.

“Then, Dylan, it looks like we need to fast and pray, right?”

I nodded.

(Excerpt from Unhinged Geezer by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2015, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up Your army of Simeons and Annas and other senior citizens to bring last chance messages to America. (Based on Luke 2:25-38)

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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Prayers for Healing and Deliverance (3/14/2017)

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The female pastor walked to the pulpit and began the eulogy for my high school friend. I have no idea what she said because the Lord chose this moment to speak to me.

The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart: “My church is a bunch of nice losers. They lay their hands on the sick and pray for them, but when they die, they aren’t mad at all. They don’t check themselves out to see what happened or what they may have done wrong with their prayers and actions. They accept defeats and don’t think anymore about them.

“Now, Major League baseball teams are all filled with good players. Each player has to be one of the best in the world to make it to the Major Leagues. Losing teams have good players on their rosters, too. But after a while, losing teams’ players don’t mind losing because after all, they still receive their Major League paychecks and bonuses.

“But winning Major League baseball teams are different. They hate losing and will do anything and whatever it takes to win. They hate losing.

“I want My church to hate losing!”

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

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to fear You so that we will hate evil in all of its forms, including sickness and demonic oppression, and help us to rid ourselves of our lukewarm Laodicean attitudes. (Based on Proverbs 8:13 and Revelation 3:15)

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

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Mountains Melt at the Presence of God (Part 3)

Am I a mystic?

A couple of years after my first time of being gone in my prayer life, I mentioned my prayer experiences to another believer. Big mistake!

The supposed spiritual man was kind enough to listen to me before he gave his opinion. “Well, brother, this just doesn’t sound right to me. It sounds new-age or like mysticism. You’d better be careful. You wouldn’t want to get off the well-worn path, would you?” he said.

How could I answer him? I had no clue except to say that my experiences drew me closer to the Lord.

Fortunately, not too long after my discussion with this man, I listened to a teaching by Benny Hinn in which he talked about being in the presence of the Lord. His description of his prayer experiences matched mine almost to a tee. Rather than using the words of “being gone” like I did, he referred to it as “resting in the presence of the Lord where time no longer mattered because the Eternal One was there.” Much better use of scriptural sounding words!

King David talked often about the presence of the Lord in the Psalms:

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:11)

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (Psalm 95:2)

But David also used metaphors to describe the presence of the Lord:

You have said, “Seek My face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek. Hide not Your face from me. Turn not Your servant away in anger, O You who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! (Psalm 27:8-9)

The Hebrew word paniym is translated into the English word face in these verses, but the same word is translated into the English word presence in numerous other verses.

In other Psalms David used the terms secret place, shadow, and hiding place to describe the presence of the Lord.

Today, many believers use the term “intimacy” to describe their relationship with the Lord. Yet, sadly, many critics hate the term because it is not in the Bible. I would guess that believers who use the term “intimacy” are just trying to relate their experiences in the best way they know how as I did when I used “being gone” as a young Christian.

(Continued in Part 4…the full series to date can be read here.)

 

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Prayers for America (3/9/2017)

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“Run for your lives. There are too many Philistines! We’ll all be slaughtered,” yelled the Israelites.

The soldiers dropped their weapons en masse and fled the battlefield for the hills surrounding the area. Clouds of dust marked their scrambling footsteps, heading toward safety.

“Don’t leave us! Help!” cried the left-behind wounded soldiers, scattered about the field. Their pleas echoed off the backs of the retreating men because it was every man for himself that day.

Four Israelites remained in the middle of the battlefield. They formed a small square with their backs to each other and their swords pointing out at the advancing Philistine army.

“What’s the plan, my king?” shouted Eleazar over his shoulder.

King David nodded his head at the enemy. “Our God is for us,” proclaimed the king “Let’s continue fighting until all of these uncircumcised Philistines are either dead or retreat from the battlefield.”

 

The above fictionalized version of 2 Samuel 23:9-10 and 1 Chronicles 11:12-14 is a perfect snapshot of spiritual warfare. It depicts a few believers willing to trust God and His words to fight Satan and his demonic horde while the bulk of Christianity sits on the sidelines, watching from a safe seat.

No one can determine for sure ahead of time, which believers will stand with us in our spiritual battles. That depends on spiritual maturity and the mercy of the Lord. But we can prepare ourselves ahead of time by learning as much as possible about spiritual warfare.

Why is this so important?

Look what eventually happened because David and the three soldiers continued fighting after all the other Israelites fled the battlefield:

…The Lord brought about a great victory; and the people returned after him only to plunder. (2 Samuel 23:10)

(Excerpt from Storming the Kingdom by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

I have no doubt that God has set President Donald Trump in the White House for His purposes and to allow Americans some time to prepare for the dark days ahead, but even so, the Lord needs some Davids to stay on the battlefield and fight.

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up American believers who will take up the whole armor of God, that they may be able to withstand the enemy’s attacks in the days ahead, and having done all, to stand and fight the good fight of faith. (Based on Ephesians 6:13 and 1 Timothy 6:12)

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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Geezer Up (Part 14)

Jane

J. C. and Shira sat in the front seats of their BMW while I sat in the backset. Our conversation died off within the first few blocks of driving toward their home on Nob Hill, which suited me just fine because I was arguing with God.

Most people who have met Dylan and me would assume that we must have been cut from the same small town cloth, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

Dylan’s parents were two of the sweetest people who have ever lived. Love and peace permeated every corner of their home. Meal times for Dylan and his sister Darla were filled with lively conversations about what happened during their day. All who sat around the table, even guests, were encouraged to contribute. Family problems were handled in love, rather than anger. Both parents attended Dylan and Darla’s school events, cheering them on from their seats. Because of the loving atmosphere provided by his parents, Dylan grew up to be a confident, loving adult.

By comparison, fear filled our home because of my dad. Although he was a successful real estate broker, he hated his career, his life, and himself. He took out his anguish on my mother, brother, sister, and me. We never knew what would trip his trigger, but when it happened he would turn into a ranting madman slinging four-letter words and accusations at everyone. It usually climaxed with him slapping us around.

Mealtimes? Oh my! These were tortuous occasions for the family because Dad demanded absolute quiet from us while he ate his meal. If for any reason, we children made a chewing noise or squirmed a bit in our chairs, he might smack us and send us to bed, berating us as we left the room. If he did speak and asked a question and then didn’t like our answers, he might slap us across the face right there at the table. Mom always sat in her chair with her head down like a timid titmouse, too afraid to confront Dad or defend her children. Her only solace was a bottle of Jack Daniels hidden behind the cereal boxes in the pantry.

Not only that, my dad attempted to molest me soon after my thirteenth birthday. I fought him off and ran into the bathroom, locking the door behind me. He never attempted to touch me again, but being alone in the house with him caused panic attacks to strike me so that I trembled and struggled to breathe. All I could think about during those times was the day his hands fondled my breasts.

What few friends or boyfriends I had were never invited into my home nor did I ever share the shame and pain I felt in my heart with anyone. Never once! Looking back, I now realize how fortunate it was for me to be a straight-A student because it kept prying eyes away from my life and our home.

My most awkward moment occurred on October 12th of my freshman year at the University of San Diego. My phone rang at 6:35 in the evening while I was writing an English essay at my dorm room’s desk. I answered, “Hello.”

“Hi honey.”

“Oh, hi mom.”

“I have some bad news.”

“Okay, let’s have it.”

“Your dad suffered a heart attack this afternoon and died before the paramedics arrived at his office.”

I did not say a word nor did mom. The dead air space continued between us for more than ninety seconds before I finally said, “Oh.”

Mom closed by saying the funeral arrangements would be made the next morning.

“Okay, mom.”

I hung up, shed no tears, and felt no grief.

Is it wrong to feel like this, I wondered. Then, I continued writing my essay.

Meeting Dylan and Jesus changed me into the woman I eventually have become, but still, I froze up and could not speak in front of audiences. All of my childhood pain and shame came roaring back into my mind. I just couldn’t do it!

So, when the Lord spoke to my heart in the backseat of the BMW, saying, “I want you to speak on TV, radio, in churches, and wherever I open the door, defending Dylan’s stand and pleading his cause,” I shook my head.

“No, Lord, I can’t do that,” I whispered.

Have you ever argued with the Lord? Did you win?

Of course not and neither did I.

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

(Continued in Part 15…the full series to date can be read here.)

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