Category Archives: black people

God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness or Else (Part 1)

 

43-438624_united-states-map-vector-pngDuring the mid-1990s, while I was a member of an inner-city ministry, I had a dream that showed a black river flowing out of the inner cities to every city and town in America.  The dream zoomed in for a closeup of the river, revealing it not to be a river but an army of black preachers. These men of God had scars and tattoos covering their arms. Many were ex-cons. Their message was the same that John the Baptist preached two thousand years ago: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

I somehow knew these men were not seminary trained, but were taught by the Holy Spirit. Their faith had been forged in the brutal fires of inner-city life, but it was their eyes that captured my attention.  Their eyes burned with a love for Jesus, a love not matched by any other generation of preachers before them. I felt these black men were sent to deliver the rest of America from false religious views.

Before you reject my dream as a pizza-induced fantasy, let me share another one from the same time period.

In this particular dream, I saw a race war between black Americans and whites taking place in our nation. As most know, dreams can be weird, but it was not the case for this one. It was a straight forward, four-color documentary of possible future tragic events.

The dream opened up with a large army of inner-city black youths marching into upscale white neighborhoods. The youths carried AK-47s, AR-15s, Glock pistols and knives. They went from house to house, slaughtering white men, women, children and babies. None of the victims defended themselves nor did anyone attempt to stop the youths in their thirst for blood. When they finished, the youths torched the homes and danced in the streets, firing their guns in the air.

The next segment of the dream showed politicians attempting to handle the outbreak of racial hostilities with words, committee meetings and new laws. Although the leaders of both major parties condemned the violence, all worried about losing votes in their upcoming elections. Therefore, a political stalemate arose with nothing concrete being done.

The final portion of the dream showed white Americans hiring trained mercenaries to hunt down the black youths. The mercenaries went into America’s inner cities, killing young black males and filling the streets with their dead bodies. I knew as I looked at the bullet-riddled corpses lying on the asphalt that a whole generation of black leaders had been wiped out.

If both dreams are actually from the Lord, how can they be such polar opposites?

Okay, I wrote the above 439 words as an opening for an article to be published on WND.com. Then I wrote another four hundred words of blah, blah, blah and more blah.

Thank God, they chose not to publish the article because it stunk. Period!

Hopefully, this series will provide a roadmap for our prayers and for our ministry efforts in America’s inner cities. But to do so, we need to heed some wise advice:

Whatever we wish to achieve in the future, it must begin by knowing where we are in the present – not where we wish we were, or where we wish others to think we are, but where we are in fact. (Thomas Sowell)

(Continued in Part 2)

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A Black River Flowing Out of America’s Inner Cities

I had another dream, which showed the importance of what I refer to as a black river of apostles and prophets flowing out of America’s inner cities to the other regions of our nation. I wrote it as a short story rather than as a prophetic dream:

If I had not been there, I would not have believed what happened. Not in a million years.

That particular Saturday morning was Farmer City’s annual Sidewalk Sales Extravaganza. Crowds of people filled the streets of the downtown business district. All checked out the bargains lining the tables in front of the retail stores. Brown jersey gloves were three pair for a dollar at Hesston’s Hardware. Dollar General sold Handi-Wipes for seventy-nine cents. Nineteen hundred tight-fisted Norwegian and German-American people populated the city, but these blond-haired, blue-eyed conservatives liked nothing better than saving a dollar or two.

My little concession trailer sat on the street in front of the courthouse. Popcorn, snow cones, and cotton candy were hot items for the first two hours, but sales slacked off around 11:30 a.m.

I took a break and stood outside the trailer, smoking a cigarette when I saw the stranger heading toward me. If ever a person was in the wrong place, it was that man, an African-American in Farmer City. His pockmarked face was covered with four-day stubble. A jagged scar stretched from the base of his neck to his left ear. He wore a black Oakland Raiders’ sweatshirt rolled up to his elbows, revealing gang tattoos on his bulging forearms. His thousand-yard stare had the look of an ex-con.

He nodded as he passed me.

“Hi, how are you?” he whispered without breaking stride.

I turned to watch him walk over to a green bench in the city square and climb up on it. He cupped his mouth with his massive hands.

“Hey, everyone, listen up. I’m holding a healing crusade in Jesus’ name this morning. So, if you need a miraculous healing, come on over here,” he shouted.

People stopped what they were doing and looked at him. They had to be wondering who he thought he was, an Oral Roberts or some other evangelist like that. But to my surprise, the crowd moved toward him as if he were a Pied Piper.

An eighty-year old lady scooted her walker to the front of the group. She looked up at the stranger.

“Okay, sonny, let’s see you do your stuff,” she said with arched eyebrows.

A slight smile etched his chiseled face. He jumped down, and in one continuous motion, he grabbed the walker and flung it onto the lawn, saying, “In Jesus’ name, be healed. Now dance for Him.”

The crowd watched as she teetered there, her weak legs straining to hold her up. A man reached to grab her, but the black man slapped the Good Samaritan’s hands away.

“Don’t help her,” he said. “Let the Lord finish His work in her.”

A few in the crowd booed the stranger, but he paid no attention to them. He knew what he was doing.

Then, it happened.

A big smile lit up the little woman’s face. She straightened up, kicked one leg in the air, and then the other. She followed with a scissors kick, using both legs at once. Tears streamed down her face as she lifted up her arms and danced on the sidewalk, praising Jesus for her miracle.

People ran to form a line in the street. Some were young. Some were old. There were cripples, amputees, cancer sufferers, heart victims, mentally ill, and numerous others who were afflicted with one malady or another. They waited patiently for the stranger to pray for them.

The stranger moved toward the first person in line, but an arm reached out and grabbed his shoulder. The black man stopped and turned around, looking into the face of a middle-aged man with blond hair, wearing a black suit.

“Yes, may I help you?” asked the stranger.

“I’m Reverend Adam Johnson, head of Farmer City’s ministerial board,” said the man in a deep voice. “We don’t believe you should hold a healing crusade just yet. No one knows who you are accountable to. Allow us to check out your credentials. If everything turns out okay, you can hold healing meetings in one of our churches next week.”

The smile on the black man’s face dipped downward.

“Who were you referring to when you said ‘we’?”

Reverend Johnson pointed toward six men dressed in similar suits, standing under the oak tree behind the bench.

“Those are the other pastors on the board. Like most shepherds, we just want to protect our flocks from unknown strangers.”

The African-American placed his hands under the armpits of Reverend Johnson, picking him off the ground. He tossed him as if he were a basketball over the bench at the other pastors. The clergy reached out their arms, cushioning Johnson’s fall to the ground.

The black stranger stood there, clenching and unclenching his fists, as if he were deciding on further action against the group. Fear crept into the pastors’ eyes. They stepped back from him.

“Don’t you ever get in my way again! Jesus sent me to hold a healing crusade in Farmer City this morning and people like you are not going to stop me. Do you hear?” he proclaimed, pointing his finger at them.

They nodded in agreement at the man’s words and fled the city square.

The stranger turned around and began praying for people.

What happened next was unbelievable. It was as if Jesus Himself were holding a healing meeting in our city. Everyone received his healing. None was disappointed. When he finished, he walked away from the city square. A few tried to stop him, but he shook them off.

“Just thank Jesus and give Him the glory,” he said over his shoulder.

He slowed down and stopped a few feet from me. He eyed me up and down for a few seconds as I puffed on my cigarette. Our eyes locked, but neither of us spoke. I finally looked down at my feet.

The burning love and compassion in his eyes made me feel like I stood naked in front of him. He knew the type of man I was and yet, he still cared for me. Why? I did not know, but I wanted to find out.

He was gone when I looked up again.

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

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“Personal Prisons” in Black America

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My new weekly column entitled, “’Personal Prisons’ in Black America” can be read by clicking here.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can perhaps read it better by using the Chrome browser rather than Safari. Also, you can go to the app store and download a free app called: WND

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 14)

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Not counting the Bible, I’ve read Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom more times than any other book. The memoir contains stories from her worldwide travels. A particular one seemed appropriate right now.

In it, Corrie ten Boom related how she traveled to a church in Munich, Germany, in 1947, to proclaim the message of God’s forgiveness to the defeated and bombed-out German people. She stated to them:

“When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.  And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says, ‘NO FISHING ALLOWED.'”

Afterward, the German crowd stood up and filed out, few daring to believe the message’s truth. None approached, except for one heavyset man who moved toward her.

Ten Boom recognized him as one of the cruelest guards at Ravensbruck, the concentration camp where she and her sister were imprisoned. She survived, but her sister died because of the guards’ cruelty.

The man stood in front of her and offered his hand. She fumbled in her purse, not wanting to shake it. Her message sounded glib to her ears at that moment.

He admitted to being a guard and then said, “But since that time, I have become a Christian.  I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well, Fraulein. Will you forgive me?”

Corrie ten Boom ignored the man’s hand, not being able to forgive because of painful memories. It was too big a hurdle, even though she knew she had to do it. So, she prayed:

“Jesus, help me! I can lift my hand. I can do that much.  You supply the feeling.”

When their hands finally touched, God’s love flooded ten Boom. “I forgive you, brother, with all my heart,” she cried. Then she finished the story by adding:

I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.  But even so, I realized it was not my love.  I had tried, and did not have the power.  It was the power of the Holy Spirit…

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5)

(Excerpt from Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom with Jamie Buckingham, Jove Books, © 1978.)

This story communicates what God expects to happen when He squeezes inner cities and how forgiveness of white Americans will come by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 13)

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Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-4 NLT)

Thank God for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other Civil Rights leaders who pointed at America’s log in its eyes − institutional racism − so that changes in our laws were passed. Was it a peaceful stroll in the park? No, it was messy, but with rare exceptions, institutional racism is now a horror of the past.

Rev. King and the other leaders deserve honor and gratitude because they were types of Moses, sent by God to deliver America from this horrible sin.

Does racism still exist in America? Yes, and as long as pride, envy, and fear exist, the sin of racism may rear its ugly head from time to time under the best of conditions.

Who has more racism − whites or blacks? This question is irrelevant because both races struggle with the sin of racism, with one big difference right now: God and His plans.

You see, God’s plan for America includes having a black river flowing out of our nation’s inner cities, filled with apostles and prophets, who will help deliver the rest of the country from racism and religion. They, in turn, will also be deliverers, much like Moses.

Yet to be deliverers, God will squeeze racism and sin out of these black apostles and prophets. The squeezing will resemble a hand squishing a tube of toothpaste to wring every bit of gel out of it. As with the toothpaste tube, the first bit of squeezing to remove racism and sin will be rather easy, but as it continues, it will be more and more painful.

To many, the painful squeezing may seem unfair, since the inner city blacks have suffered through almost 400 years of anguish in America. But for God, He’s looking forward to the finished products: brilliant diamonds reflecting Jesus to all.

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

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 12)

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Let’s say that my favorite son, Edward, was gunned down by a man, for no other reason, than he wanted a target for his hatred. If I then hunted the murderer down and killed him with my own gun, that would be vengeance.

If instead of killing the murderer, I captured him and turned him over to the police who then put him on trial for Edward’s murder. If he was found guilty, that would be justice.

If I showed up at the penalty phase of the trial and pleaded that the murderer should not be executed for murdering my son and if the jury agreed with my pleas, that would be mercy.

But if after all this, I walked up to the murderer who had been judged guilty and already had received mercy, and I grabbed his hand, took him home, sat him at my dining table, and said, “From now on, you shall take the place of my son. You will have all his benefits and will be an heir to all my wealth. I will love you just like I loved Edward.”

That is grace, which God freely offers us each day of our lives.

Now, if I were a black American, it would be almost impossible to overlook the words of Malcolm X and not seek vengeance for the four hundred years of horrendous treatment by white Americans, which have helped create who I am today. It would take a miracle not to avenge myself.

It would even be harder to go along with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and accept simple justice, and then extend mercy to white Americans for all of their transgressions, wiping the slate forever clean of the harshest reparations against them.

Yet, to rise to the next level where I would reach out, hold white Americans’ hands, and say, “You’re my brothers. I will lay down my life for you and if you need something, just let me know and I will do my best to get it. My heart is always open to your needs because I love you,” − this would be beyond any grace or love I could ever bring forth.

And yet, this is exactly what I believe the Lord is going to soon ask from black Americans.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

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

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 11)

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“Wherever we want to go, we can only get there from where we are. Not where we think we are, or wish we are, or where we want others to think we are, but where we are in fact right now. But political spin and pious euphemisms don’t tell us where we are. After a while, such rhetorical exercises don’t even fool others. If we don’t have the truth, we don’t have anything to start with and build on.” (Thomas Sowell)

70% of African-Americans live in America’s inner cities or inner-ring suburbs. Most of the following facts refer to that 70% of African-Americans. These facts are not written to throw stones at our inner city black brothers and sisters, but to eventually, bring glory to Jesus.

  1. The abortion rate for African-American women is five times higher than it is for white women, accounting for 37% of all abortions in America.
  2. 1 in 3 African-American men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes.
  3. 70% of juvenile arrests in America are African-American youths.
  4. One third of all welfare recipients are African-Americans.
  5. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
  6. 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. 
  7. Poverty rate among African-Americans is 36%.
  8. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined.
  9. The preponderance of school violence in America occurs in big-city schools attended by inner city black students.
  10. Black education is in a state of shambles for elementary and high schools in most inner cities of America.

Without a doubt, the above facts are discouraging, but here’s the irony of it all:

  1. Inner city African-Americans are the most devout Christian group in America and the difference is 21 percentage points higher than the next group.
  2. African-Americans are even more conservative on the social issues of abortion and homosexuality than the rest of the population.

Just to remind everyone: in the last part, I wrote about a vision I had of a black river flowing out of the Inner Cities of America filled with black apostles and prophets who had characters approaching that of Jesus.

So, how will God do this?

(Continued in Part 12…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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