Category Archives: Christianity

Prayers for Families (1/24/2019)

When Jesus returned to Nazareth with His disciples and taught in the local synagogue, His neighbors were astonished at His wisdom and understanding and said, “Isn’t He a carpenter? Isn’t He the son of Mary?”

Both of these statements were putdowns.

By saying Jesus was a carpenter, they inferred that He had no formal theological training under a rabbi. So, how could people pay attention to His words without a proper resume?

And son of Mary? By not referring to Him as the son of Joseph, the people alluded to the rumors that Jesus was an illegitimate son.

Jesus looked at the crowd and said, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4 NLT)

Shouldn’t Jesus’ family have honored Him? They had watched Him grow up into being a strong man of faith and saw His godly wisdom displayed over and over again. And He most likely supported His family by being a carpenter after Joseph’s death.

Plus, Joseph and Mary would have told their family about Jesus’ birth, the shepherds, the star, the three wisemen, the prophetic words by Simeon and Anna, Joseph’s visions and more.

Yet, with all of this, Jesus’ family did not honor Him during His earthly ministry.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to love and honor our families on their good days, on their bad days, on the days when we haven’t a clue about why they’re doing something or whatever because You love families and consider Your children a heavenly family for You. (Based on Ephesians 3:15)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Families, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 3)

God tests our hearts to reveal to us what is in them, but just so you know, it’s usually not a good report.

This was especially true about my heart during a 1995 experience. That particular day I had been sitting alone in my apartment, reading a biography about the faith and healing pioneer, John G. Lake. As I turned the pages and read how God continually provided for Lake’s needs, it dawned on me — my life really sucks right now. Where was the God who was supposed to be my provider?

At the time, I owed thousands of dollars to numerous creditors, most of my friends had dropped me like a hot potato, the woman who I thought would be my wife didn’t want to see me and my kitchen cupboard was bare. I was lonely, broke, hungry and angry.

I laid the book down and stood up. “God if You’re such a big God,” I said, “how come You can’t help me with my problems right now? Maybe Your arm is not as strong as it was a hundred years ago. Is that Your problem?”

I sat down, quite satisfied with the way I confronted God. I picked up the book to continue my reading.

Then, all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit burst into the room in His holiness and power. His Presence blanketed me. I dropped the book and fell on my knees. “O Lord, don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Forgive me! Forgive me! Please don’t kill me!” I said over and over again.

In the midst of my  plea bargaining, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “If I wanted to, I could deliver you from all of your problems in a blink of My eye.”

“O Lord,” I whispered, “I believe You and will never doubt You again.”

The Holy Spirit’s heavy presence lifted off me.

How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. (Job 13:23)

It was the love of God that showed up in my room that day to reveal my transgression (or rebellion) to me. I still treasure that experience.

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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Prayers for California to Wake up (1/22/2019)

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy in 63 AD, encouraging him and the churches to pray, intercede and give thanks for all men, but especially for their government leaders so that the believers might lead quiet and peaceable lives.

The main government leader at the time was Emperor Nero, head of the Roman Empire.

What happened next?

A great fire broke out in Rome in 64 AD, destroying great portions of the city. Nero laid much of the blame on Christians and hunted them down. Horrific tortures were inflicted on Christians with thousands of believers being martyred. Paul, himself, was beheaded by Nero in 67 AD.

But guess what?

Christianity grew and became stronger during these four years of heavy persecution, which ended in 68 AD, at Nero’s death.

Just think for a moment: Paul and the believers prayed, interceded and gave thanks for Nero during this cruel time period, hoping for peace. Yet, it took four years for their prayers to produce peace in the Roman Empire. Four years until their breakthrough!

This should give California believers hope!

The newly installed California government is not a Christian-friendly one nor can we expect Bible-based laws to be enacted in the days ahead. But let’s follow Paul’s exhortation by giving thanks, intercessions, supplications and prayers for the following government leaders, believing that God will have His way in California:

Governor Gavin Newsom.

Lt. Governor Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis

Attorney General Xavier Becerra

President Pro Tempore of California Senate Toni Atkins

Majority Leader of California Senate Robert Hertzberg

Minority Leader of California Senate Patricia Bates

Speaker of California Assembly Anthony Rendon

Speaker Pro Tempore of California Assembly Kevin Mullins

Majority Leader of California Assembly Ian Calderon

Republican Leader of California Assembly Marie Waldron

US Senator Kamala Harris

US Senator Dianne Feinstein

Speaker of US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi

US House Representative Maxine Walters

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up a hundred thousand believers who will make a commitment to pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2 for our government leaders on a regular basis, believing You will have Your way in our state.

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for California and the West Coast.

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Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 2)

 

As I wrote in Part 1: the word sin means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target. One of our most common sins is fear.

The following is a true story from my life:

“If you can’t pay the truck payments up to date by Monday afternoon, bring us the truck. No more stalling because it has to be one or the other,” said the Ford Motor Credit official.

I hung up the phone, wondering if the Lord had another financial miracle in His basket to deliver me out of this predicament.

The new Ford F-150 pickup became a part of my life just five days before that dreadful morning on July 8, 1994. A special offer to businessmen lured me into the Ford dealership in Ames and the zero down payment financing sealed the deal. The dealership even filled the dual tanks with gas before I drove off the sales lot. What a blessing, I thought at the time.

Then, my financial nightmare hit.

The $300 monthly truck payment and insurance expenses added millstone weights to my downward death spiral. On the one hand, I needed the truck to remain a painting contractor so I could earn enough money to pay off my bad checks and painting debts. Yet, on the other hand, there never seemed to be enough money left over from my painting jobs for truck payments.

I eventually trusted the Lord to work out all of my other financial problems, and even had peace about each of them, but the Ford F-150 was a different story. I could not remove the nagging fear of losing it. It haunted me day and night.

The truck payments were ninety days late four times in the year after July 8, 1994. My problem was not an imaginary fear, but rather, a real one. I awoke each morning and looked out the window, checking if the truck still remained outside in the parking lot or had been repossessed during the night.

A friend grabbed my shoulder one morning during a prayer meeting, turning me around to face her.

“The Lord spoke to me about you, and said the cares of the world are pulling Larry under,” she said, staring into my eyes.

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s the truck. I can’t quit worrying about it. Pray for me.”

She prayed, but I still had no peace about the situation.

I fasted and prayed against every possible demon. I read Psalm 37 and countless other scriptures to bolster my faith, but still, the fear of losing the truck sucked every bit of joy out of my life.

The Lord finally spoke to me in a vision while I slept one night: “The truck is Mine −not yours. It is My responsibility to watch over it. If I choose to give it back to Ford Motor Company, that’s up to Me, and not you. So, quit worrying about it.”

My fears evaporated that morning. Why worry about someone else’s problems, right?

Ford Motor Company repossessed the truck six months later. I washed, waxed, and cleaned it before returning it to the dealership. It was the Lord’s truck and I wanted Him to know how much I appreciated driving it.

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

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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Prayers for Families (1/17/2019)

At Thanksgiving, we love to see those advertisements with a happy family sitting around a big table enjoying their turkey feast and fellowshipping with each other. This is a part of our American tradition where families love to get together, especially during the holidays.

But what about dysfunctional families?

A friend recalls his childhood family experiences with horror. His mom adored his older brother, but from his earliest years onward, he can only remember his mom’s contempt for him. She would punish him for the smallest infractions by spanking him always hard enough to make him cry. Then she would continue spanking him until he would quit crying. A no-win situation for a four or five year old child.

“You will never amount to anything in your life!” his mom proclaimed to him over and over again.

And guess what?

His brother grew up to be a wealthy businessman, but my friend was always in trouble. First, in elementary school and then later on as a juvenile delinquent. At 18 years of age, my friend forged a check for ten dollars. The judge sentenced him to ten years in prison for his crime.

His mom never once wrote him a letter or visited him while he was in prison.

When I first met my friend, he was thirty-five years old and had spent half his life in prison. He had become a Christian, had joined a church once, had been on fire for the Lord, but the church had treated him poorly. So, as you can imagine, my friend had trust issues.

I prayed over him once and had a quick vision. In it, I saw him sitting on a cot in a prison cell. He was weeping buckets of tears as he faced a brick wall. The vision panned outward, revealing that the prison door was wide open. All he had to do was stand up, turn around and walk out the door to his freedom.

To this day, my friend is still sitting in bondage to his childhood past.

This is an extreme example, but there are thousands of others that are much, much worse.

My prayer today:

Lord, send Your Spirit to bring Good News to families and their members, to proclaim liberty to any captives, to open blind eyes and free those who might be suffering from ill treatment by their families. (Based on Luke 4:18)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.

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Politicians, False Prophets and Jesus (Part 5)

 

Global Warming

As a reminder: let’s look once again at what God said to the prophet Isaiah –

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10 NKJV)

These words were so important that He repeated them here and here.

Thus, if God was able to look into the future when He set the foundations of the earth, do you really think He would have given humans enough power – good or bad – to destroy the earth? Is the One who fixed the stars, sun and moon in the heavens and also created the earth and all of its organisms so naive to overlook any important point like this?

Of course not!

From the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, only Joshua, Elijah and Jesus have affected climate conditions so far.

Joshua asked God to have the sun and moon stand still so he could finish his nation’s battle with the Amorites.

And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:14)

Elijah walked into King Ahab’s court and said, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, there shall be no rain or dew in Israel for the next few years unless I give it the word.”

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain…And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:17-18)

Jesus and His disciples sailed in a fishing boat across the Sea of Galilee to the opposite side. Jesus fell asleep. A massive tempest arose, causing large waves to wash over the boat. The disciples feared for their lives and awakened Him. Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and waves. The storm immediately ceased and the sea was calm.

Jesus looked at them and said, “Where is your faith?”

And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:41)

Now, in the end-times, the two witnesses who will prophesy for one thousand two hundred and sixty days just before Jesus returns will be able to control some climate conditions.

The two witnesses have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy… (Revelation

Yes, mankind’s sins have caused droughts and climate problems over a single nation, but it has not been a global phenomenon since the great flood nor will it be again until God cleanses the earth with fire.

So, what’s the real problem with global warming?

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Death Stared Me in the Eyes this Morning

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My death is not something I ever worry about. As far as I’m concerned, it will be just another date in my life, much like a wedding anniversary, birthdays or whatever dates seem important right now. Nothing more. Nothing less.

My thinking on this is directly related to  the Lord rescuing me from committing suicide on May 20, 1985. That’s 12,292 days ago, almost thirty-four years now.

Since then, I’ve gone through miles of rough roads, quicksand pits and dead-ends. Part of my life’s resume includes a divorce, remarriage, working at dozens of minimum wage jobs, being fired four times, moving more than thirty-four times to nine different states and eighteen different cities, watching my dreams and hopes smashed to pieces so many times I’ve lost track, going through dumpsters and countless other shipwrecks.

A woman prophesied twenty-three years ago: “Larry, the reason you are going through so many trials is that the Lord wants to destroy your pride. He wants all of it gone so He can use you.”

Many times, I’ve cried out, “Lord, have you squeezed enough pride out of me yet?”

Not once has the Lord replied to this question, but my guess is that this will be an ongoing process for the rest of my life.

What about death staring me in the eyes?

It dawned on me this morning that I’m seventy-two years old and haven’t done much for the Lord. Oh, I’ve written a few things and patted some people on the back along the way, but that’s the least I should have done with the heavy dose of grace the Lord has extended to me.

Being honest with myself, it appears I have only works of wood, hay and stubble built on the foundation the Lord has laid in my life. All of these will quickly be burned up when I face Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. And I’ll be left with a scorch mark on the ground as an eternal remembrance of my earthly ministry for Jesus.

It turns out the life expectancy for a seventy-two year old man is 12.75 years. So, if that’s the case and if I really want some eternal rewards, then I had better get my act together today.

And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27

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Filed under Christianity, Eternal rewards, Judgment, Judgment Seat of Christ, Prophecy