Category Archives: Christianity

32 Years Ago Today

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In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.

The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.

As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.

My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.

Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.

Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.

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

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.

If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.

But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.

And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.

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US Embassy: This Year In Jerusalem

The following article appeared as a guest column on World Net Daily two days ago:

US Embassy: This Year in Jerusalem

Exclusive: Larry Nevenhoven says God placed Trump in office for “such a time as this”

President Donald Trump repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign that if he were elected, he would move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

His counselor, Kellyanne Conway, backed up Trump’s words last December in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “That is a very big priority for the president-elect, Donald Trump. He made it pretty clear during the campaign…”

Vice President Mike Pence revived President Trump’s promise in March 2017 at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington DC, “After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

But is President Trump really a man who honors his promises or just another political hack, blowing smoke into the ears of Evangelical Christians and American Jews to garner their support?

The modern history of Jerusalem dates back to the armistice signed after Israel’s war of independence in 1948 when Jerusalem was partitioned into two parts. The western half of the city became part of Israel, while Jordan controlled the eastern half, along with the Old City. West Jerusalem became Israel’s capital with the nation’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches set up there.

This East-West partition remained in effect until Jordan attacked West Jerusalem on the second day of the Six-Day War in 1967. The bloody fighting ended with Israel capturing and annexing all of Jerusalem and the entire West Bank. The city has been unified under Israeli control since 1967.

In 1980, Israel passed a law stating Jerusalem was the “complete and united capital of Israel.” The United Nations declared Israel’s law was a violation of International Law and ruled it was null and void. The UN also called upon member nations to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city.

American politicians soon entered into the Jerusalem dispute with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush backing the moving of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during their respective presidential campaigns in 1992 and 2000. Both showed their true colors when they reneged on their promises as soon as they entered the White House.

In 1995, Congress joined the cause by passing a law, which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and required the US embassy to move its offices to Jerusalem by 1999. Failure to comply would cause the US State Department to lose half of its budget. The law allowed presidents to waive its requirements for six months at a time if it was determined to be in our nation’s best interests. Clinton, Bush, and Obama have dutifully signed waivers every six months since the passing of the law.

President Trump will face his first six-month waiver deadline in June.

Now, there’s no doubt Trump is up to his hips in alligators as he attempts to drain the swamp in our nation’s capital. Obamacare, building a wall, sanctuary cities, immigration issues, judicial court overstepping, budgetary problems, job creation, and so forth are more than enough monsters for any administration to handle. Yet, let’s be honest about these issues, okay? Trump needs the help of Congress and the Senate for significant changes to occur with these issues. And there’s no guarantee this will ever happen in today’s political climate.

Even so, it’s my deepest belief that the Lord placed President Trump into the oval office for one main reason: moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. Has the Lord ever done something like this before?

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Over fifteen hundred years ago, the Lord set a Jewish girl named Esther into a leadership position as the Queen of Persia. She risked her reputation and life to fulfill her divine destiny by standing up for the Jews. Esther’s legacy still stands today as a shining example for government leaders to follow.

What are the legacies for the two presidents who defaulted on their promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem? President Clinton is a convicted liar and President Bush is forever labeled with these words: “Bush lied and thousands died.”

It is tough to look in the rearview mirror to gauge the what-ifs of history, but let’s do it anyway. What might have happened if the two presidents had kept their promises about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem? It’s my opinion the Lord would have honored His promise in Psalm 122:6 by somehow covering their mistakes.

Clinton and Bush are forever cemented into their presidential legacies, but President Trump doesn’t have to make the same mistake that they did. He can honor his promise by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem now.

Let’s pray he does.

Larry Nevenhoven is a Christian author/businessman who has written over 1,400 articles on his Larry Who blog (www.larrywho.com) and published 13 eBooks on Amazon. His letters to editors have appeared in major newspapers from the LA Times to the Virginian Pilot with a dozen or so published on WND.

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Inside Israel

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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 —

“The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Aviv (spring); for in the month of Aviv you came out from Egypt.  “All that open the womb are Mine,…. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. “And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.  “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.  “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.  “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.”  EXODUS 34:18-24

Beloved brothers and sisters, cleansed by The Blood of The Lamb, called into His kingdom for such a time as this, may you be blessed and encouraged and may THE LORD ALONE be glorified and blessed.

Shalom, from a city at the center of history and geography, which is…well…cleaning!

Yesterday while crossing a large street in the center of town, I had to jump out of the way of one of those one man riding street sweepers who was stopping for no one and seemed determined to clean the patch of street that I was on.  I jumped aside and he went intently on about his work, brushes whooshing away.  I chuckled.

“So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.  You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.  For whoever eats leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel…On the 14th day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread , until the 21st day of the month at evening.  For seven days no leaven shall be found in your house…whether he is a stranger or native of the land…”  Exodus 12:14…20

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I realize that all people are certainly NOT alike, not in taste or opinion or habit. Yet if I love someone, I REALLY WANT to please him.  I have noticed when I make a meal that pleases my husband, I save that recipe or if I wear something that he comments on I make note of that.

When I was a young believer, I made note of the things that God said He loved or abhorred and I still do that.  In no way did I think that my SALVATION was purchased or that I was any higher up on His list. If I did it, or any worse if I did not, but I WANTED to do things that pleased This One Whom my heart loved. So I took note of what He wrote.  I still feel that way and I don’t really understand the argument against doing what The Word says by His Spirit.

On the train coming home from the shuk, I looked over the parcels piled on the floor and laps of my fellow travelers. Every space was covered.  An older woman along side of me had a drying rack.  This is a simple, clever device for drying wet clothing in limited space, inside our outside.  It folds to slim flat and can be anywhere from 3 feet to about 6 feet long when folded.  I have noticed that the ones available at Pesach are plastic rather than the usual aluminum with clotheslines.  Why?  I still don’t know.

When I do find out I will likely shake my head.  Anyway, it wouldn’t occur to me that my clothesline might not be kosher for Passover, but I guess it should because another woman called over to my neighbor from across the train. “How much did you pay for that one?”

Immediately I heard: “65 shekels.  Some people are fanatics but I am not one of those.  65 shekels is enough.”

The woman across the train nodded in agreement.  “That’s a good price.  I found them 2 for 135 shekels.”

I thought, “Huh!  I would never have thought to replace my DRYING RACK.  Does it have leaven?”

But as I see the array of plastic sink and pipe liners, and stacks of new…everything, I try again to adjust my focus on Exodus chapter 12…

Our daughter came by today to help with a few things. As we discussed what was kosher for Pesach, she told me that her husband’s family gets rid of EVERYTHING and will eat no food unless it is marked “kosher for Pesach 2017” by a rabbi whom they approve of.  They even throw out all of their spices. Yes, salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea and all of the expensive exotic ones as well. They are Algerian Jews by background and culture.

It surely helps you to have a very clean house and also to keep free of loving things!  When you replace everything you own once a year, your items are limited by necessity.  They empty the apartment of everything and then take a large hose and hose down the entire apartment. They are SURE that there is NO LEAVEN.

Each time my focus gets off base and I start to feel anxiety to keep up with my cultural and generational expectations, I return to Exodus chapter 12.  Verse 3 says “…On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…”

That is this coming Thursday or TOMORROW here.  I cannot take a lamb, but I HAVE taken THE Lamb, and as instructed in verse 6 “Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.  Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” 

Yes, this I DID do.  I was responsible.  I nailed Him to the cross. I was guilty of killing The One Who died for me, to set me free, and yes, I am FREE.  Free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but more importantly, free to serve Him in love.

The time is moving quickly and I seek to keep my balance…HE is first and yet there ARE necessities.  Shopping is much more hectic with the crowds, and choices must be made as this is a major holiday and many places will be closed, not only for the holy days themselves, but some for the entire week.  I chuckle to myself…none of us will starve, that is for sure!

 

My thoughts drift to Esther and I lift her up in prayer.  A couple of weeks ago as I waited to see a doctor in an area that I’m not very familiar with, I arrived early and went into a small toyshop.  It was a tiny hole in the wall but piled HIGH with the most wonderful and creative toys. A truly amazing shop.

“If’shar la’aksor?” (can I help you?), an older woman asked.

I told her that I only had a moment and wasn’t from this area but I was a Grandma and couldn’t resist.  She nodded and said, “I can help you find anything.  I know everything that is here and where it is and can find the perfect gift for each child.  I can do that because my husband and I bought every one for more than 50 years.  We were together every moment of every day and chose each toy together, but he is gone now.”

She burst out crying and fell into my arms to the dismay of (apparently) a relative and husband who were helping her unload new stock.  I assured them that it was ok and they should leave us alone.

“When did he leave?”  I asked.

“It has been 4 months now,” she wept.

“Oh, this is so new and hard, I’m so sorry!” I said, hugging her tighter.  “Was it a surprise?”

“Oh, he had the cancer, a bad one, but he did not want any treatment. He wanted to be happy.  And he was for 3 years, we almost forgot that he had it, but the last two months he suffered.  He told me that he had lived more than 85 years and that had been such a gift and that it was enough, but here I am and I miss him so much!’

I asked her if they had children and grandchildren and although I have forgotten the number it was a HUGE tribe.

“What a blessing.  They must be a comfort.”  I wanted so hard to comfort her, but I had the feeling that just listening and hugging was what she needed right now.  No one could take his place and I understood they had been married more than 60 years.  “I will pray for you and ask others to as well Esther.”

And that is what I’m doing now.  This Pesach will be so hard for her and for others all around left behind by loved ones.  Perhaps you will remember her too?

Pesach.

What IS it really?

The older I become the more mystical it gets in my eyes.  Each time that I begin in Genesis (Beresheet in Hebrew) and walk on into Exodus (Shmote in Hebrew), it is as if I am reading it for the first time. The immense wonder of it all only gets larger as I see things that I never have seen before, the way it ALL fits together. The MASTER PLAN laid out both plainly and in code, a weaving begun of a most beautiful symphony.

And here WE, of ALL people are in Jerusalem, joining the throng, heeding the call of “come UP to Jerusalem, the city where I have put MY Name and I will meet you there.”   

Psalms 120-134 (some include 119) are the Songs of Ascent because they were sung as the tribes gathered on the way, going up to Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover, Shavout (Pentecost or Weeks), and Sukkot (Tabernacles): the three feasts when all males were commanded to come up to Jerusalem.  Yeshua (Jesus) was part of this and sang these songs when He was a child and came up to Jerusalem with His family for Passover as described in Luke 2:41-51.

And still, many visitors come up during Passover/Resurrection season – up to Jerusalem and to the feasts of The Lord. It is a time to visit with beloved friends – both old and new.  It all mixes together and I wish you could all be here and see it and partake.  BUT NOW WE SEE YESHUA, JESUS, THE RISEN BREAD OF LIFE, THE FULFILLMENT OF ALL OF THESE AMAZING PATTERNS AND PROMISES…HE IS THE LIVING MANA…HE IS ENOUGH… HE IS THE LAMB…HIS IS THE BLOOD ON THE DOORPOSTS OF OUR HEARTS…HE IS THE WAY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS…HE IS THE FIRSTBORN…HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE….

AND IT IS JUST ALL SO BEAUTIFUL THAT I MIGHT BURST…

But first, I do have to finish cleaning. So, I will just go and sing while I clean.

May the blessings of His Presence be ours.  May we glorify The Lord and finish the work that He has given each one of us.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Prayers for America (4/6/2017)

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One of my favorite prayers of all time was spoken by a slave woman whose husband was about to be sold off to another plantation at a slave auction. She prayed, “Lord if I could help You as easy as You could help me right now, I would.”

That simple prayer moved a ten-year old boy to borrow ten dollars from his dad and bid the money for the husband. The audience thought the bid was so ridiculous that no one else bid on the slave, even though the husband was strong and worth over a thousand dollars.

The young son paid for the slave and took him to the wife, giving the husband his freedom.

Our Lord is an awesome God who answers prayers.

My prayer today:

 Lord, open up the hearts of American believers so that we have a love for Your truth. (Based on 2 Thessalonians 2:10)

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 a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (4/4/2017)

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I was born in 1946.

This year marks the beginning of what we now call the Boomer Generation. It’s the demographic used to describe the post-World War II baby boom from its beginning in 1946 until 1964.

76 million of us were born during the Baby Boom Years. We now control 80% of all the financial assets, spend half of all consumer spending, consume 77% of all prescription drugs, and enjoy 80% of all leisure travel.

Our numbers include President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Dolly Parton, Cher, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field, and countless others.

Okay, we Boomers have made money and lived for ourselves, but what is our legacy to the following generations? Have we, like King David, fulfilled the purposes of God for our generation?

I am ashamed to say that we have not.

My prayer today:

Lord, forgive us America’s senior citizens for not accomplishing pleasing works in Your sight. And awaken and strengthen us so what still remains in us of You and Your ways will help the generations after us to serve You. (Based on Revelation 3:2)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

 

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Geezer Up (Part 16)

Except for the early moments in Cell 27 when my cellmate wrapped his hands around my neck, the rest of my first twenty-four hours of jail life crept along like a snail on a hot sidewalk. Slowly! Bogart and I reached a tacit truce, which allowed me to speak only when he directed a question at me, but otherwise, I remained silent.

I wandered out into the common area and spent time with eleven other inmates watching TV. Reality shows, especially “Judge Judy” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” were the favorites with comments being peppered at the TV throughout each show.

As far as eating, no one noticed that I was not doing so. God’s grace covered my fast and my efforts to do it in secret.

At 10 a.m., a tall guard came to the cell. “Matthews?” he said.

“Yes,” I said, sitting up in my bunk.

“Come down here. Turn around. Put your hands behind your back.”

I followed his instructions as he put handcuffs on my wrists and quickly patted down my body for weapons.

“Turn around. Walk out the door, turn right, and head toward the entrance. Your lawyer is waiting for you in meeting room #2, on your left.”

When I entered the small room, Artie sat at a metal table, wearing a light gray suit and black shirt open at the collar. The guard removed my handcuffs and left the room. I sat down on the opposite side of the table from Artie.

“How are you doing?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

I shrugged. “Well, it’s not a picnic, but so far, I’m doing okay.”

“Well, that’s probably as good as one can hope for right now.”

He opened his brown briefcase and took out my worn black leather Bible.

“Jane brought this over before I left the office this morning.”

I grabbed the Bible and fanned the pages.

“Thank you, just what I need right now.”

“Here are some legal pads and jail approved pencils, too.”

I nodded my head.

Artie blew out a deep breath before explaining the prosecutor’s offer of leniency in exchange for my admittance of guilt and apology.

“No, not interested in that deal.”

He then mentioned how the City Attorney’s office would throw the book at me if I refused the offer, which could result in a log prison sentence for me. Even if the decision were appealed, I might end up being locked up for months or years before the case was settled.

“Still not interested. Sink or swim, live or die, I’m determined to trust the Lord all the way to the end of this.”

Artie stood up and picked up his briefcase. “I will be back in eleven days to ready you for your preliminary hearing. Jane will visit you tomorrow and Sunday.” He paused a moment. “My wife and I are praying for you…just want you to know that.”

We shook hands before the guard returned to take me back to Cell 27.

(Continued in Part 17…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (3/28/2017)

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“Honey, the Lord told me on the way home tonight how blessed I should feel to have a godly husband like you,” said Carol as we slipped into bed at the end of a long weekday.

“That may be true, but I’m going to shoot Fern,” I said looking at the ceiling.

“Sweetheart, what?” she said, her green eyes blinking in unbelief.

“After I shoot her, I might hang her by the neck, and then drop her over a steep cliff.”

“Dear, that’s not like you at all. You wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially my mom.”

“After today, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things. I just might shoot her right between the eyes.”

We rolled over and fell to sleep.

This conversation actually took place in Glidden, Iowa, when Carol and I stayed at her mom’s five-acre farm. Fern was seventy-eight years old at the time, but don’t go thinking her age caused her to be a weak link in the local farming scene. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, she still resembled a pioneer woman ready to hitch up a Conestoga wagon with a pair of oxen and head over the Rockies to Oregon.

Everything had been great between Fern and me up until that week. Her humor and intelligence made her a joy to be around, but all of the warm fuzzies ended when sweet corn season arrived.

 

Now, let me set the stage, okay?

The late July temperatures hovered near one hundred degrees with the humidity approaching tropical rainforest levels. No air conditioning. Ten zillion, pesty, ornery farm flies, and two acres of sweet corn. Carol worked for a company in Carroll, Iowa, and I had just finished detasseling for a hybrid seed corn company.

“Larry, would you like to help harvest some sweet corn?” asked Fern one morning.

“Sure, of course,” I said, not foreseeing any problems.

The next four days were an absolute “hell on earth” for me. The heat, humidity, and flies took their toll, but what pushed me over the edge were Fern’s drill sergeant’s tactics.

“Do this. Don’t do that. Be careful. Watch out. Grab this. Let go. It’s not that hot outside. Can’t you go a little faster? What’s wrong with you?”

She counted the number of pints of corn already done on the fourth day.

“We’ve already done one hundred and twenty pints so far, which is a record for me, but I know we can do at least two hundred pints, maybe even more.”

Her eyes gleamed with the possibilities of being listed in the Guinness World Records and the Prairie Farmer. That night I spouted off to Carol about offing her mom.

The next morning I crept out of bed at an early hour and tiptoed down to the family room. There I dropped to my knees on the carpet.

“Lord, what’s my problem? Why do I want to shoot a sweet, seventy-eight year old lady?” I prayed.

The Lord spoke to my heart after a long while: “You’ve given up on senior citizens. You think they just want to collect their social security checks and sit on porches, taking it easy until they die. You don’t believe I will use them in a move of My Spirit in America.” Then, He added, “I haven’t given up on them and neither should you. Repent of your attitudes.”

I repented before the Lord that morning.

Fern Fielder, a great mother-in-law (1920 to 2008).

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

The above event took place in July of 1997.

My prayer today:

Lord, breathe Your Spirit upon the senior citizens of America to bring them back to life so that they stand on their feet and become an exceedingly great army for Your glory. (Based on Ezekiel 37:10)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

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